• This Marine Reminds Us All What The Word ‘HERO’ Means

    A U.S. Marine is being hailed as a hero for quickly climbing a tree to save a man’s life.

    Marine Sergeant Cody Leifheit, 28, was working as a recruiter in Lewiston, Idaho when June 7 around 2 a.m. he heard screaming outside his home. Leifheit ran outside to find a 19-year-old man hanging by his neck from a rope 25 feet above the ground as his friends panicked.

    No one had a knife handy so Leifheit ran home, grabbed a knife, and sprinted back. He quickly climbed it to save the man, who has asked that he simply be called Tristan.

    “Sergeant Leifheit was like Hercules climbing the tree,” Austin Tow, Tristan’s roommate, said in a statement. “Once Sergeant Leifheit climbed up to where I was in the tree, he said, ‘Hey, I’m a Marine and I’m here to help your friend.’ I instantly felt at ease.”

    The former football and wrestling star held the tree with one arm and Tristan with the other as he cut the noose free. He checked Tristan’s pulse but found none and started doing chest compressions in the air. Tristan finally began breathing again while both men were still up in the tree.

    First responders arrived and assumed Tristan was dead, but Leifheit insisted on continuing the chest compressions. Firefighters were able to help the men down and take Tristan to the hospital.

    Tristan spent two days in a coma before reviving. He was finally able to leave the hospital.

    Tristan’s friends say they saw signs he was troubled leading up to the suicide attempt. Tristan is the legal guardian for his 14-year-old brother Dartanian, who is overjoyed at the recovery.

    “My brother is the closest thing I’ll ever have to a dad,” Dartanian said. “By saving his life, Sergeant Leifheit practically saved mine.”

    The act has many calling Leifheit a hero.

    “I’m sure it was just another day for him,” Cpl. Jeff Decker, who served under Leifheit from 2012-2015, said in a statement. “If we gave 100 percent, he gave us 110 percent back.”

    Leifheit has dismissed the praise, saying he was just doing the right thing.

    “You would have done the same thing,” Leifheit told People. “If you’re physically capable of doing something to save someone, you do it. What I did was not a heroic act.”

    Sgt. Cody Leifheit (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Reece Lodder) Sgt. Cody Leifheit (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Reece Lodder)

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