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Navy Sailor Chose to Save Others

On June 17, 2017 the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship 56 miles off the coast of Japan. But one of the seven sailors who died aboard the USS Fitzgerald saved more than a dozen of his fellow shipmates before he ultimately lost his own life.

When the Fitzgerald collided with the merchant ship, 37-year-old Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., "leapt into action." The Fitzgerald was struck below the waterline, and Rehm Jr.'s family was told by the Navy that he went under and saved some of his crewmates, possibly even 20 of them.

But here's an interesting part of this story. People who knew Rehm have said the same thing: Gary was just acting according to the character he had spent years shaping. A close friend said, "[The heroic rescue] was Gary to a T. He never thought about himself."

Rehm's uncle said, "He called [the sailors on the ship] his kids. He said, 'If my kids die, I'm going to die. He was always ready to help anybody who needed it. He was just that kind of guy.'"

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