Boxer Sailor Earns NAM by Accident

15 Dec


Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Veronica Mammina

It was finally here. The day we wait for every week – Friday. Hard work had paid off and the workday was done. Logistics Specialist 3rd Class(SW) Cole Karr had gotten off early on a Friday to run a few errands before the weekend. His head start came to a standstill as he drove down the highway and found himself stuck in bumper to bumper traffic.

Curious as to what was causing all of this traffic, he finally reached the source; there was an accident.

“From what I saw, it was a black crossover SUV [sport utility vehicle] that rear ended a smaller car.” said Karr, who works in the post office aboard Boxer. “As I was about to go around the accident, like everyone else did, I noticed a pregnant woman standing next to the SUV and she was in hysteria.”

Without thinking twice, Karr pulled over to see if the woman needed any assistance.

There was an immense amount of smoke coming from under the hood of her car as Karr approached the woman.

“I asked what she needed out of the vehicle and said she needed her purse and the baby items out of the back,” explained Karr. “I then grabbed her purse and gave it to her, opened up the back hatch of her car and I saw there were a few baby items so I quickly started grabbing everything.”

As Karr hurriedly snatched car seats, diaper bags and toys, another bystander came up to him and told him to move his truck back because the woman’s car was soon going to go up in flames.

“Once I grabbed her stuff, I escorted the pregnant woman further away from the scene and sat her down to get her to calm down,” said Karr. “After I moved her and her belongings back, I backed my truck a little further back and just as emergency services showed up, the woman’s car was engulfed in flames.”

Karr said he wasn’t nervous or scared during the accident and could only think about the woman’s safety the whole time.

“After I left the scene, I broke down emotionally and called my dad to tell him what happened and as Christians, we both came to the agreement that God had worked through me to help this woman,” Karr said.

Karr had never experienced anything like this before.

Capt. Martin L. Pompeo, Boxer’s commanding officer, showed his appreciation for Karr’s act of kindness by awarding Karr with a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

“I do not want to be referred to as a hero like I have been hearing these last couple of days,” explained Karr. “I just happened to be at the right place at the right time to help someone and I acted on my responsibility as a human, Christian, and United States Sailor.”

USS Boxer is currently undergoing a planned maintenance availability in its homeport of San Diego. For more news from Boxer, visit our homepage at or our Facebook page


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