Jul 06, 2012
by MC2 Luke Meineke
Shortly before 4 a.m. Tuesday, June 19, 2012, USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuel) 1st Class (AW/SW) David Lawrence, Air Department’s V4 Division maintenance leading petty officer, was driving to Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) for a pre-work workout when he made a fateful decision to help a stranger.
Lawrence was driving across the Coronado Bay Bridge when he noticed the car in front of him pull over and stop near the bridge’s apex.
“I saw he was an older guy and he didn’t have his hazard [lights] on, so I didn’t want him to get hit – and he was in a black Fiat and it was dark out,” Lawrence said. “Most people going over the bridge at that time won’t be paying attention; they’re just trying to wake up.”
Lawrence said he thought he would be helping with a flat tire or offering a ride to the Highway Patrol station on the other side of the bridge when he pulled over in front of the black Fiat and turned on his hazard lights. This decision to help was reflex for Lawrence, stemming from his belief that good deeds produce good rewards.
When I volunteer at children’s hospitals or for fundraisers, I believe “somebody is returning the favors,” Lawrence said. “My health is good. My family’s health is good. [So I take] any opportunity I get to help somebody.”
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One piece of information relayed to him by a police officer will stay with the Carl Vinson Sailor foreverthough. “It was his sixtieth birthday,” said Lawrence, shaking his head. He didn’t have to say it, but Lawrence knew. His compassion made it possible for one man to see 61.