Nine members of the 50th Main Support Battalion, Rear Detachment, had a day of kayaking turn into a rescue of two New Jerseyans from the Manasquan River Reservoir in Howell Township. The Soldiers were spending the day celebrating a first place win in a volleyball tournament they participated in during training with the 250th Forward Support Battalion at Sea Girt.
While kayaking on the river, Maj. John N. Tumino and his volleyball teammates, 2nd Lt. James Verrengia, Staff Sgt. Joseph F. Quiles, Sgt. Herminio Sanchez, and Specialists Tyehimba Ames, Trever Crovitz, Nick Dumortier, Keiry Martiniz and Pvt. Chukwuemaka Chiazor saw trouble. Michael Griffith and his father William, were out fishing for the day when their boat overturned off a dock on the river. Although both wore lifejackets, neither can swim well.
William was also trapped under the overturned boat. The nine Soldiers were able to pull both of the Griffiths to safety from the water.
“It was totally a natural reaction of the Citizen-Soldier,” said Tumino. “When Soldiers see someone in danger, whether from natural disaster, war or like this-physical danger, they are going to help.”
“I want to thank those guys any way I can,” Michael Griffith stated. “Thanking those guys is important to me.”