Delaware Coast Guardsman Earns Prestigious Silver Lifesaving Med - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Coast Guardsman Earns Prestigious Silver Lifesaving Medal

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Petty Officer Mabry Honored for Heroism Petty Officer Mabry Honored for Heroism

SUSSEX COUNTY, Del. - A Coast Guardsman stationed in Delaware is being recognized for rescuing a young man.

Marine Science Technician Petty Officer 3rd Class Caleb Mabry received the Coast Guard's Silver Lifesaving Medal for a 2015 incident in Cape Charles, Virginia, where he and a friend saved a teenager from drowning. Mabry jumped in the water and swam 50 yards to save the boy despite being on crutches at the time. Additionally, he got in the water a second time to try and find the teenager's friend, who was submerged. While sadly that teenager didn't make it, Mabry's actions saved the other's life, and for that, he was hailed a hero.

Mabry was awarded the Silver Lifesaving Medal in a ceremony at the Indian River Inlet Coast Guard Station on Friday. Delaware Senator Chris Coons helped bestow Mabry with the medal--one of only 1900 ever given out. Past honorees include war heroes such as Admiral Charles Nimitz and General George Patton. Mabry told WBOC receiving the medal was "surreal."

"It's an honor to do this with the Coast Guard," he said. "I'd like to think that any other Coast Guardsman or Good Samaritan would've done the same." 

The Coast Guard says the Silver Lifesaving Medal is awarded "when an individual performs or attempts to perform a selfless act of heroism, often placing themselves at danger for the benefit of another." Senator Coons said Mabry's actions are an example of how important the Coast Guard is, especially in states like Delaware.

"It's a reminder that we rely on the Coast Guard all over the United States both in the waters and in our recreational life to keep us safe," Coons said. "To make sure that we're kept safe both from foreign threats and that we're kept safe when we're boating recreationally."

Mabry's family came up from North Carolina for Friday's ceremony. His mother said she'll never forget that fateful day, as it was Fathers' Day. 

"I was wondering why he didn't come home for Fathers' Day, but the reason he didn't was for a higher calling," she recalled. "God has everything under control. I think there was a reason that this happened."

Mabry is currently stationed at the Coast Guard detachment in Lewes. He said his medal--made of solid silver--won't be on his uniform forever.

"I'll keep it somewhere safe, that's for sure," he said. "somewhere out to display." 

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