AIRMEN these days: Vol. 5 - Airman 1st Class Regino Marchese
By Chief Master Sgt. Stefan Blazier
/ Published May 05, 2020
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- I’ve heard the comment, “Airmen these days” quite a bit over the years. It’s usually from a negative standpoint; how today’s Airmen are not as disciplined, dedicated, or mature as those from “back in my day…” To help others see the greatness in our Airmen, this series of posts will demonstrate the quality of Airmen who join and stay on our team (no matter what age).
Let me introduce you to Airman 1st Class Regino Marchese. Several months back, I heard the news of a newly graduated BMT Airman who saved someone’s life while at the San Antonio Riverwalk. It was an incredible story of taking action in the face of chaos. This past week, Chief Master Sgt. Gravely and I got to talk with him. This fiery young man is from Iowa (not Idaho…there’s a difference) and wanted to join the military since he was 7 years old. He originally dreamed of being a Soldier in the U.S. Army, but had an injury in Army Basic Training which put that on pause. After recovering, he worked to go back in and luckily for us, the Air Force caught his eye this time. Only 17 hours later, he was a brand-new recruit with a ship date to join the World’s Greatest Air Force.
Regino loved the overall experience of discipline, comraderie, and teamwork throughout BMT. He shared with us his proudest day was when he “became an Airman” and was blessed to have his wife join him on this special day. When you talk with him, you can tell he’s somewhat of an “old soul” and has wisdom beyond his years. One example was when he offered was when he realized he’s not just “in” the Air Force, but recognizes our Airmen are what makes it come to LIFE…“they ARE the Air Force.” I’m telling you…this young man was raised right.
Just like many families did prior to COVID-19, they headed to the downtown area to enjoy the weekend together. He said, “I’ve seen a lot of corn back home, but not hotels that large before. It was exciting and we headed towards one of the restaurants nearby to enjoy lunch.” As he moved through the crowds, something caught their attention. There was a commotion and people began to cry out. He saw an older man lying on the ground who had injured his head in a fall and seemed to have stopped breathing. Airman Marchese immediately came to his aid, performing a blood sweep, checking his airways and removed a toothpick which had been lodged in his throat. When he did, the man immediately began to breathe again and went into a seizure. Airman Marchese’s wife (who thankfully is a Certified Nursing Assistant) stabilized and cared for the man, while he worked to keep swarming crowds back and the scene safe until emergency services arrived.
Their combined actions that day, likely saved this man’s life and demonstrate a tremendous example of the character of our people within our ranks today. When we asked him, “how’d you know what to do?” he highlighted two things. First, he described how he relied on the information in the Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) course taught in BMT only a week prior, and second…and this is my favorite part of the story…“I was JUST DOING MY JOB.”
You see for Airman Marchese, there wasn’t some big decision to make. He saw someone in need and then he did what he could to help them. It was really that simple to him. So much so, after he and his wife got cleaned up, they went right back to their original plans and enjoyed lunch nearby. Words of his actions traveled back to his BMT training squadron – the 323rd TRS. And on the very next day before departing for Security Forces technical training, he was awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal for his courageous actions. Fast forward a few months, and the story gets sweeter. The Marchese Family is now expecting their first child as Regino is preparing to graduate with his fellow Defenders from Team 006 on May 4, 2020.
To Airman Marchese - BIG Thanks for your grace under fire and choosing to be an AIRMAN! We’re proud to be your Wingman and look forward to what’s next in your Air Force journey. Your humble attitude and hunger to be your best is a testament to us all. This is something each generation depends on and we’re always better when we take ACTION and FIGHT for the person right next to us…as one Air Force Team. 🇺🇸
#AirmentheseDays #takingAction #servingothers #beagoodhuman #37TRW
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