The Man in the Cowboy Hat: A Hero’s Story Emerges from the Boston Marathon Massacre

(Charles Krupa/AP photo, as found at:  
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/16/17773869-the-man-in-the-hat-at-boston-marathon-finish-line-carlos-arredondo-didnt-set-out-to-be-hero#.UW0xKQRT41Q.twitter )

There he was in a cowboy hat on the sidelines, handing out American flags. Carlos Arredondo was waiting at the finish line for those who were running for fallen soldiers, one of which was his own son. Rewind to 2004 when Marine Lance Cpl. Alexander S. Arredondo, died in battle half a world away in Najaf, Iraq. It was Carlos’ 44th birthday when Marines pulled up to bring the news. Distraught, he grabbed a can of gasoline and something to light it with from his garage, got inside the van, doused it and set it on fire, severely burning himself as well. The Marines got him out and put out the flames on his body while suffering no injuries to themselves. (Read about that here)
(Alexander and Brian before Alexander's death in Iraq)

That was not the end of his personal tragedies. At an anti-war demonstration in the nation’s capital in 2007, Arredondo was beaten. Just before Christmas of 2011, Carlos’ other son, Brian, age 24, committed suicide as American troops withdrew from Iraq. This was a man who experienced more than his share of tragedy and trauma (read more about that here).

Back to Monday, April 15, 2013, at the Boston Marathon and the man in the cowboy hat: a blast went off across the street. With disregard for his own personal safety and against every impulse to run the other way, Carlos ran toward the injured which included one man whose legs were blown off. NBC News had a picture of him apparently holding closed the severed artery of the man’s leg in his blood-soaked hand. "I kept talking to him. I kept saying, 'Stay with me, stay with me,'" Arredondo told Maine's Portland Press Herald.

Later, he can be seen on video and in photos carrying an American flag red with blood and speaking with bystanders while uncontrollably shaking.

Let’s remember to pray. Please continue to pray for Carlos Arredondo and his family. Keep interceding for the victims whose lives hang in the balance or are forever changed by this monstrous and evil act. Continue to pray for those who are investigating and for the trauma it brings to those who were there, for those who have suddenly lost loved ones, for those who saw what was the equivalent of battlefield casualties and for the people of Boston and our country who have been given a new and bloody anniversary to remember.

Note: often we find ourselves looking for heroes at times like this. Carlos’ story is developing and perhaps time will amend some of the details. However, we thank God for those who willingly risked their lives and ran to danger to help those who needed them the most.

Update:
Dad Learned of Son's Fate Via Iconic Boston Photo
"Jeff Bauman was frantically trying to reach his son, also named Jeff Bauman, who was at the Boston Marathon to cheer on his girlfriend, when his stepdaughter called and told him about a photo he needed to look at. The elder Bauman immediately recognized his son in the graphic picture, being wheeled away by an emergency responder and Carlos Arredondo."

This Story is Getting More Bizarre
Marathon Bombing ‘Hero’ Questioned By FBI, Police At Boston Home
He says Boston Police and the FBI came to his Roslindale home and questioned him about the bombing. When they left, they took some items.

“They took my clothes, my shoes my pants, my t-shirt, whatever they needed I provided to them,” Arredondo told WBZ-TV.

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