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Marines Recognized for Heroic Lifesaving Actions at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport




MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — Capt. Steven M. Maire and Capt. Joseph H. Carey, both assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 165 (Reinforced), 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, were honored on June 10, 2024, for their quick and decisive lifesaving actions at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport on May 23, 2024. The two Marines were awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal by Col. Sean Dynan, the commanding officer of the 15th MEU, in front of a formation of approximately 200 Marines and Sailors at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.

While returning from the Marine Aviation Readiness and Operations Summit, Captains Maire and Carey witnessed a man collapse at the ticketing counter. Initially mistaking the incident for a seizure, they quickly assessed the situation and realized the man was suffering from a heart attack. Despite not being medical professionals, their Marine Corps training and quick thinking led them to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use an automated external defibrillator (AED), which ultimately saved the man’s life.

Rapid Response and Teamwork

“I was checking in for my ticket and saw him on the ground, and realized something wasn’t right,” said Capt. Maire, an AH-1Z Viper pilot from Cleveland. “That’s when Joe [Carey] saw him and started heading over to him, then I followed.”

Capt. Carey, an MV-22B Osprey pilot from Hanover, New Hampshire, realized they were the closest to help. “We just got down on the floor with him and started to figure out what the problem was,” said Carey.

Realizing the man wasn’t breathing, they determined he had suffered a heart attack. Carey started chest compressions while the man’s wife provided rescue breaths. An airline representative then brought an AED, which Maire used to shock the man’s heart. After the second shock and more CPR, the man began to regain consciousness just as paramedics arrived.


Exemplifying Marine Corps Values

During the medal presentation, Col. Dynan emphasized how the actions taken by Maire and Carey embody the warrior culture and the standing guidance for the entire 15th MEU – be ready to deploy to crisis or “be somebody’s hero.”

Lt. Col. Drew Bossart, commanding officer of VMM-165 (Rein.), praised their quick thinking and exceptional teamwork. “Their quick thinking, exceptional teamwork, and unwavering commitment to the safety and well-being of others epitomize the core values of our Marine Corps,” said Bossart. “They’re true leaders who didn’t hesitate to take charge of a surprise situation and begin fighting to save someone’s life, and I’m extremely proud to serve with them and recognize their lifesaving efforts.”


The heroic actions of Capt. Maire and Capt. Carey at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport demonstrate the extraordinary dedication and readiness of Marines to assist in critical situations. Their ability to remain calm under pressure and apply their training in real-life scenarios saved a life and exemplified the core values of the Marine Corps.

For more information, contact the 15th MEU Communication Strategy and Operations office at (760) 763-4505.

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