Carlos Arredondo snapped right into action at the Boston Marathon bombing on Monday. Wearing a cowboy hat in the now iconic image from Monday’s attack, he has become a source of inspiration and hope. Here’s what you need to know about the heroic Carlos Arredondo.
1. His Son, Marine Lance Cpl. Alex Arredondo, was Killed in Iraq in 2004.
Carlos Arredondo is no stranger to personal tragedy, having lost his own son in the Iraq War. He took his son’s death incredibly and understandably hard, using it to fuel passions later in life, and was no doubt the inspiration to help those violently wounded on Monday.
2. He Set Himself on Fire After his son Died, Out of Grief.
Arredondo was brought to national attention after his display of extreme grief.
3. Carlos Arredondo’s Other Son, Brian Arredondo, Committed Suicide.
Though Carlos Arredondo recovered from his severe burns and was able to heal, his other son, Brian, was overcome by grief over his brother’s death. Brian succumbed to depression and took his own life in 2011.
4. He went to the Marathon to Support a Group of Military Service Members Who Memorialized Fallen Soldiers by Marching in the Race
Known as Tough Ruck, the group of soldiers marched the 26 miles in Boston while carrying 40-pound packs, recreating typical military training. Never off-duty, the soldiers rushed in to help after the bombs went off.
5. He was Across the Street at the Time of the First Explosion, and Ran into the Smoke to help.
Acting almost purely on instinct, Arredondo ran over to the site of the explosion and jumped over the fence to do whatever he could.
6. He’s a Member of the Red Cross Disaster Team.
He was able to draw on medical training he received as a member of the Red Cross while helping the wounded.
7. He Fashioned a Tourniquet out of Sweater he Found on the Ground.
8. The Man Arredondo is Helping in the Photo is Jeff Bauman Jr.
Bauman lost a leg in the blast, and Arredondo held a tourniquet tightly, to control the bleeding. He stuck with Bauman, kept reassuring him that he was OK. Someone with a wheelchair appeared and they were able to get Bauman into an ambulance.
9. The Police took Arredondo’s Clothes as Evidence and Studied the Pictures he Took.
10. He’s Known as a Peace Activist.
Arredondo drove a pickup truck around the country to protest the wars. He took with him a flag-draped coffin and reminders of his fallen son, including photos and a football. He told the New York Times in 2007, “As long as there are marines fighting and dying in Iraq, I’m going to share my mourning with the American people.”