In yesterday’s horrific train accident in Midland, Texas, Army Sergeant Joshua Michael and Sergeant Major Lawrence Boivin faced a choice. Instead of escaping, as they could have, they pushed their wives to safety… and perished.
Michael, a Purple Heart recipient, “pushed his wife off the float—my daughter,” Mary Hefley tells the Amarillo Globe-News. “He was that kind of guy. He always had a smile on his face. He would do for others before he would do for himself.”
Witness Jaime Garza said he got to the scene just after impact, and Boivin died in his arms. “He actually pushed (his wife) off the float, and then he got hit.”
It is very easy to criticize traditional masculinity, and I have criticized it a lot; many elements of traditional masculinity are indeed toxic. But there are parts of it that are good, and valuable– not just for men, but for people. Dying in order to save those you love is one of them. Courage, strength, protecting those weaker than you… those are good things, things that matter. Their sacrifice is noble and honorable and I salute them.
Photo– AP photo/James Durbin. Parade participants look on as a trailer carrying wounded veterans was struck by a train.