It’s not often a man is credited with two heroic moves over the course of mere weeks, but it seems that’s exactly what happened with Darryl Darling, a retired Marine who is being honored for his bravery.
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Darling’s kind acts started Aug. 16, when he was inside a Florida bar, and a man reportedly entered with a grenade, WSVN-TV reported.
That’s when the quick-thinking good Samaritan jumped into action and distracted the explosive-wielding man while patrons fled the establishment.
Darling then took the man to the ground until cops controlled the scene and took over.
“I knew what had to be done,” he told WSVN-TV, explaining in another interview the actions he took. “First thing I did was grab his left hand, get that away from the grenade. Then I did a leg sweep, pushing him down with my full body weight.”
Darling said the man with the grenade was allegedly “agitated at somebody in the bar,” so Darling wanted to distract him to diffuse the situation and let people escape.
But while that act of heroism alone would qualify anyone for hero status, it turns out Darling also witnessed a truck crash into a tree last week.
In the latter incident, he pulled over to help the two badly injured individuals inside — and even assisted first responders, according to WSVN-TV.
Darling said he was “haunted” by what he saw and that he couldn’t sleep or eat after, according to WTVJ-TV.
“That was a very surreal moment, like something I would see in a movie,” he said of the incident, going on to describe why he stepped in both times to help. “Having abilities to do something that nobody else does and stepping in when it’s possible, is an obligation. A task seen is a job given.”
It wasn’t until the next day Darling realized stepping in the way he did was potentially “dangerous,” though he and others later learned the grenade was apparently inoperable — something they couldn’t have known at the time.
Darling was given the Civilian Service Award this week at a commission meeting in Wilton Manors, Florida — a well-deserved honor, it seems. But he remains humble, despite the accolades.
“I’m not trying to be a hero or a celebrity. I am just being me,” he told WTVJ-TV. “I am hoping no one looks at me or treats me any different than has been.”
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Author: Billy Hallowell
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