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4th Marine Corps District

Marine Corps Recruiting Command

Strasburg, Virginia native saves life in pool

By Sgt. Anthony Kirby | 4th Marine Corps District | August 31, 2015

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A future Marine saved a 16-year old boy from drowningat the Strasburg Town Pool in Strasburg, Virginia Aug. 15.

                There were three lifeguards on duty that evening to watch high school senior band members enjoy a pool party. Strasburg local, Adam Gordon, was the one who sprang into action to conduct the rescue.

                “He was jumping off the diving board and swimming fine like everyone else at the time,” said Gordon who is in the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program. “He swam in front of us, then I saw him go under the water, and I noticed bubbles like he was still swimming. Then he stopped, came up to the surface and just stayed still. I asked the kid next to him to touch him and see if he’s okay – still didn’t move.”

                The unresponsive teen was a sure indicator to Gordon that something was wrong. He immediately jumped into the pool and pulled the blue-faced teen out to safety. The teen showed no signs of a pulse. One lifeguard started mouth-to-mouth while Gordon performed chest compressions. The remaining lifeguard controlled the worried crowd. Shortly after starting cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the teen’s breathing and pulse came back. Paramedics arrived and took him to the hospital.

                “I don’t even think I was thinking at the time because everything was such a rush,” said Gordon. “I had a just-do-it mindset. When it was over, I just needed some time to think; so we called the pool party off, and I just went home, sat and had a friend come over.”

                Gordon has been swimming for years but just received certification as a lifeguard in June. He took a week-long course that included two to three hours of training each day.

                “Before this happened, I was a little bit more relaxed, and I wasn’t scared,” said Gordon. “I come here and I have fun because it’s a fun job, but it’s also a serious one. So I pay attention when I’m on the stand, but I never thought this would actually ever happen.”

                It was less than two months after learning CPR that Gordon had to apply his training. His mother, also CPR certified, has never had to use it.

                “I’ve been taking CPR classes every couple years since I was 18, and I’ve never had to use it,” said Judy Atkins-Stauf, Gordon’s mother. “You often wonder if something were to happen, are you going to be able to do it. He just proved to himself that he can.”

                Aside from Gordon’s proud parents is a proud recruiter who is honored to have met such a person.

                “To know this is the type of person that I am passing my legacy onto lets me know the future of the Marine Corps is in good hands,” said Staff Sgt. Daniel A. Wright from Clear Spring, Maryland, and a recruiter out of Recruiting Sub-station Martinsburg. “I am honored to have recruited this young man knowing that he would risk his life to save another without hesitation.”

                Gordon has been in the DEP for less than a month and is scheduled to attend basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, July 2016.


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