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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Soldier honored for aiding victims of Boston Marathon bombings

JBLM soldier honored for aiding victims of Boston Marathon bombings
The Olympian
BY KARI PLOG
Staff writer
December 20, 2013

Paul Cusack had certain expectations about running his first Boston Marathon just a short drive from his hometown of Westwood, Mass.

Then the unexpected happened.

Cusack, a 42-year-old Army sergeant, was part of a group representing the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He finished the 26-mile race under sunny skies just as the Red Sox sealed a victory at nearby Fenway Park, culminating in what appeared to be a perfect spring day.

The euphoria was shattered by two explosions near the finish line on Boylston Street. The blasts, 13 seconds and 200 yards apart, created an atmosphere of chaos. Brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were responsible for the attack, which killed three people and injured more than 200.

“You take certain expectations with you overseas, and you take other ones when you’re in your hometown,” Cusack told The News Tribune shortly before a ceremony Friday to honor his swift actions to help victims in the April 15 attack. “The wounds suffered by the people were definitely like what you see overseas, unfortunately.”

Cusack, who was given the Soldier’s Medal, was one of 14 medal recipients at the ceremony at Lewis-McChord. The Soldier’s Medal is awarded for acts of heroism not involving conflict with an enemy.
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