A viral video circulated online this week featured five United States Marines in dress blues helping push a woman’s car out of floodwaters near Washington, D.C. The stranded driver called the moment “the most American thing ever.”
In the video, Virginia Torres — who shared the patriotic moment on Tik Tok under the username @vigi.boo — realized she was stuck in floodwater on Columbia Pike near the Pentagon when a bus carrying the Marines came to her rescue.
“The Marines are going to help us. This is so cool. We just got stuck,” Torres says as five Marines are seen wading through nearly knee-high water toward the trapped vehicle.
Torres thanks the Marines who, smiling from ear to ear, begin pushing the car out of the water.
“Marine power,” Torres laughs as the Devil Dogs push them to safety. “This is so cool. Oh my God.”
“This is the most American thing ever,” the woman says.
According to Newsweek, the video topped 4 million views in just five days. In a message to the outlet, Torres called the Marines “angels.”
“I was praying in the moments beforehand because my car shut down in about 2.5 feet of water. We were panicked as we were on the highway ramp, my prayers were answered by these kind Marines,” Torres said. “I couldn’t believe what was happening, knowing they were like angels being sent from somewhere.”
“I was shocked and in disbelief I had to record it for my father to see. I also felt a wave of emotions that is hard to really describe in words,” she added.
The five service members are Marine Corps Body Bearers who were returning to the barracks after a funeral service. Cpl. Mitchell Wojtowicz told Fox 5 that the group of Marines “were the right ones for the job” and that they “hopped out without hesitation.”
“If there’s anyone who’s going to help these people, it’d be us,” he said.
Cpl. Jared Tosner said the Marines were surprised by the public’s reaction, saying it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.
“[We] definitely didn’t do it for attention or views or anything like that. Just trying to do the right thing when no one’s watching. In this case, somebody was recording, but it was cool to see the positivity that sparked from it,” Tosner said.
“We’re all pretty like minded group of individuals, not just as Body Bearers, just as Marines and service members,” Tosner said. “More or less, we just want to lend a helping hand and be good to one another.”
Torres, an immigrant, said she called it “the most American thing ever” because “we don’t see these types of things where I was born.”
“I felt proud to be an American and a wave of emotion [knowing] that the marines work every day towards our daily freedom. In that moment I felt it deeply I guess,” Torres added. “I’m happy to be alive and share this positive message with the people.”