Waterloo Marine credits training for saving child

His heroic act led to a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal last month.
Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 6:30 PM CST
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CHERRY POINT, North Carolina (KCRG) - A Marine from Waterloo earned a high honor from the military for saving the life of a little boy. Sergeant Kyle Ubbelohde is stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina. During his usual morning drive on June 28th, something out of the corner of his eye caught his attention.

He says his commute takes him over a drainage canal, which was full with recent rain. “I see a red blob out of the corner of my eye go from the wall into the water and something just didn’t seem right with that. So I pulled my truck over and went over there and saw it was actually a child down in the water. So I jumped in, extracted him out and called for the emergency services.”

Sgt. Ubbelohde says he doesn’t know how or why the boy fell in, but says he was too young to communicate. He credits the military for training him not to hesitate when someone needs help. “Every bit of training we do is built into us as an instinct at this point. You are taught to not hesitate. When you know something needs to happen you make it happen.”

His heroic act led to a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal last month. Sgt. Ubbelohde says it’s the highest honor he’s received so far. “One of my gunnery sergeants came up to me and said, you know you’re getting an award today from the two-star general. And it was something that kind of caught me off guard but thought it was going to be pretty neat,” he says, adding that the police and fire departments as well as his whole command was there to support him.

Sgt. Ubbelohde has served in the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at Cherry Point for almost three years. He graduated from Waterloo West in 2014, and will make the trip to Waterloo for the holidays. He says he hasn’t been home in almost a year.

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