For some people, bravery and heroism are just in their blood.
While you never can predict when an emergency will occur, there are plenty of amazing people out there who are ready to step up and help others when necessary, like the hero who stopped a gunman on a French train.
Ordinary people can certainly step up and become heroes, but we also come to associate this kind of bravery with the men and women of the United States military.
Those who risk their lives to defend our country are often asked to pay a steep price for their service. In the case of Marine Matias Ferreira, his courage unfortunately cost him both of his legs while fighting in Afghanistan. But Matias’s bravery did not come to a stop that day.
Back in the United States, Matias was once again faced with a situation where a true hero was needed, and he once again rose to the occasion in an incredible way.
Scroll through to read Matias’s amazing story. He truly is an inspiration to men and women everywhere.
Homes For Our Troops writes, “Marine Lance Corporal Matias Ferreira, a machine gunner with the 1st Battalion 8th Marines, was on his first deployment when he lost both legs and broke his pelvis after stepping on an improvised explosive device (IED) in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in January of 2011.”
After many surgeries and therapies, Matias learned to fully function with the use of prosthetics from the knee down. Though his service abroad came to an end, his heroism absolutely did not.
Matias was driving home to pack for his honeymoon with his soon-to-be wife, when he spotted a terrible car crash with a man and woman trapped in the front seats. The woman had hit a median pole and was calling out for help, “My baby! My baby!”
Without a moment of hesitation, Matias leapt from his car along with his brother and future father-in-law. He told the Daily News, “With the Marines, you are taught to be prepared and act.” Keeping in mind his own young daughter, Matias ran to the woman’s aid.
With smoke rising from the vehicle, Matias went straight for the baby, while his brother and father-in-law worked to free the baby’s parents who were trapped in the front of the car. He told the Daily News, “We didn’t know if the car was on fire or anything else. We knew we had to get them to safety.”
Removing the headrest, Matias was able to reach the baby and remove her from her car seat. “I didn’t hear the baby crying, so I got kind of concerned. Then I saw her open her eyes, and it kind of reassured me she was doing better.”
Matias and his family stayed with the baby and the parents until help arrived. Though his time in the Marines had come to an end, his bravery was ever present. “Instinctively you just react, you don’t freeze, and thankfully we were able to make a difference.”
Matias proceeded to get married the following weekend. With his new family in place, he is currently training to work on mechanical operating systems as part of the Helmets to Hardhats program.
He refuses to let his injury or his prostheses hold him back. As for rescuing the baby, he told the Daily News, “The prostheses were the last thing on my mind.”
Matias certainly will be remembered by this family as a true hero for helping to save their baby from an extremely dangerous situation. But Matias contends that anyone can have what it takes to be a hero. He said, “It doesn’t have to be a Marine. It doesn’t have to be a firefighter. It just has to be someone with a good heart.”