Frederick, Md. --
Hankins was visiting his grandparents in Danville, October 11. When a storm caused waters to rise, the 18-year-old realized some of the neighbors were stuck in their cars in the middle of a flooded road.
"I didn't even think about it," Hankins said. "I threw on a pair of shoes without any socks and ran. It was just an instinct."
Once Hankins reached the vehicles, he helped multiple people climb out to safety, but one car in particular needed the most help. One of the passengers in the vehicle was a disabled man who was unable to walk. Without hesitation, Hankins used the fireman carry, a carry used during a Marine Combat Fitness Test, to get the man to safety.
Hankins carried the man through the rushing water while assisting others.
“The water was getting deeper and the current was pulling me,” explained Hankins. “By using the fireman carry, I was able to regain my balance while still holding on to everyone else.”
Hankins said without the skills he learned during physical training with his recruiting station, he doesn’t know how he would have been able to save the man.
Hankins is slated to go to boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, next month in hopes of becoming a Marine engineer.