Maryland National Guardsman killed in torrential flood

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Maryland National Guardsman killed in torrential flood

The videos are scary.  Just a straight wall of water rushing through the downtown area.  Going to start with the video, but with one important caveat: don't get caught up in the story that he was rescuing a cat for a lady, because she has done other interviews saying the cat had nothing to do with it.  Other than that portion, this video lays out the story:

For some inexplicable reason the cat portion dominates the news, I guess because of what the police officer said, and many questioning why someone would risk themselves for a feline.  Nonetheless, as I mentioned earlier, the lady in question disputes that portion saying it "had nothing to do with my cat":

Kate Bowman, who owns Clipper’s Canine Cafe, said Hermond was trying to help her when he disappeared into the flood waters. Bowman said she had escaped from the window of her flooded shop with her cat. The water was above her waist when she saw Hermond across the Tiber tributary.

“I could barely see anything and I could barely hear anything” because the waters were so loud, the 41-year-old Bowman said through tears on Monday night. “He stepped over the ledge to try to get to me, and he was washed away.”

Earlier Monday, county Police Chief Gary Gardner said Hermond had gone missing while trying to help a woman find a missing cat. Bowman said the situation “had nothing to do with my cat.”

“He was trying to save me,” said Bowman, who made it to safety. “He’s a hero.”

She's right, he is a hero. 

Unfortunately, they found his body yesterday, confirming his death:

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A National Guardsman has been found dead two days after he jumped into action to try to save a shopkeeper from rushing floodwaters in Ellicott City, Maryland, and was swept away, police said.

Searchers today found the body of 39-year-old Eddison Hermond, a National Guardsman and Air Force veteran, in the Patapsco River, just across the Baltimore County line, the Howard County Police Department said.

Hermond had been a member of the Maryland Army National Guard since 2009, a National Guard spokesman said. He had joined the Air Force in 1996 and served on active duty for 10 years. He took a short break in service before joining the Guard three years later.

"We want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support," Hermond’s aunt, Deborah Nina Cooper, told ABC News today.

"The family is very grateful to all the supportive messages," she said, adding that her nephew "is a national hero."

I'm sure he will be posthumously honored for his bravery, and rightly so.  Anyone thinking he foolishly lost his life saving a cat really needs to look at what happened, and I hope the other media reports that ran with that angle correct the record and he gets the recognition for being the hero he was.


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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.