Myles Kerr knew that being a Marine comes with a lot of responsibility, but despite the huge weight he has on his shoulders, he has not forgotten the essence of being a public servant – that of being human.
Six years ago, a photo of a Marine and a young boy running a marathon immediately went viral after it was shared on social media. But what seemed like a simple image packed a much deeper backstory. This story happened in 2013, but its relevance is still as powerful as ever.
The pair were running The Jeff Drench Memorial 5K in Charlevoix, Michigan when Lance Corporal Myles Kerr came across Brandon Fuchs, a 9-year old boy struggling to keep up with the rest of his group.
Brandon, exhausted and out of breath, asked the Marine: “Will you run with me?”
People who had their eyes on the prize would have refused, but the 19-year-old was different. Being a Marine, he knew exactly what he should do. Kerr put aside his goal of beating his mates and instead slowed down to accompany the struggling boy to the finish line.
Because he chose to help the boy, the Marine ended up with the slowest time in his age group, according to the 5K results online.
Though he might have lost the race, the Marine won over people’s hearts. His act of kindness was celebrated on social media. Even the Seals of Honor – a Facebook group commemorating the life of Navy Lt. Michael P. Murphy whose life ended while fighting in Pakistan – shared the viral photo of the two runners.
Kerr didn’t expect that his simple gesture would attract so much attention. He responded to a tweet praising his actions saying, “I was just doing what any man would do, but thank you!”
He also tweeted that he received gifts from the Fuchs family for helping out Brandon.
To Kerr, being a Marine was more than just being trained for combat – it also entailed learning how to be kind and compassionate towards the citizens they serve.
Watch the video below to learn more about this story.