SUBIC BAY, Philippines —
Two U.S. Marines, two U.S. Sailors and a Philippine Marine came to the assistance of a local Filipino motorcyclist who was pinned underneath his vehicle as a result of an accident in Ternate, Cavite, Philippines, around 3 p.m. Tuesday. The Marines that responded to the injured local national, Bryan S. Rodriguez, were part of 3D Marine Expeditionary Brigade, deployed to the Philippines in support of exercise KAMANDAG 2.
The Community Health Engagement personnel were returning from a meeting at Amisa Medical Mission when they saw a crowd gathered around the accident. Lt. Maundo Lee, Medical Officer, 3d Marine Logistics Group, Lt. Brian Bonzo, Critical Care Nurse, 3d Medical Battalion, Capt. Mark Hanford, Civil Affairs Team Leader, III Marine Expeditionary Force, and Sgt. Nicholas Elston, Civil Affairs Noncommissioned Officer, Marine Forces Reserve, stopped their vehicle and rushed to help Rodriguez and apply first aid while Captain Rodilson Malic, Civil Affairs Chief, Philippine Marine Corps Civil Military Operations Command, provided security.
“We noticed that an overturned trike and a motorcycle had gotten in an accident, with a large crowd staring,” said Capt. Mark Hanford. “As soon as we passed the overturned trike I asked our driver to turn around so we could help.” Bonzo and Lee immediately began applying first aid and stabilizing Rodriguez while another officer directed traffic on the busy street.
“I moved the wrecked motorcycle out of the way and asked the crowd that was gathering to make room for the Navy Medical professionals,” said Hanford. “I asked Captain Malic to help with translating and to get the onlookers to call for police and an ambulance,” he said.
Upon examination, the U.S. service members assessed that Rodriguez had sustained a head injury and the service members stabilized his spine using a spinal board. Shortly afterwards, a Barangay government vehicle arrived to transport Rodriguez to the San Lorenzo Hospital. As he was departing, Rodriguez was alert and responsive to commands. He is in fair condition after being discharged from San Lorenzo Hospital in Quezon City Tuesday evening.
Rodriguez said he was very thankful for the U.S. and Philippine service members’ assistance. He said it was not his time to go so that he could continue to take care of his son. Exercises such as KAMANDAG 2 increase our ability to work together in response to crises across the military spectrum, from counterterrorism to natural disasters, in order to accomplish the mission, support the local population and help alleviate human suffering.