Marine vet killed while rescuing two teens remembered at vigil
San Antonio Express News
By Kate Carlson and Madalyn Mendoza
June 10, 2016
Rodney Buentello survived four combat tours — one in war-torn Afghanistan and three in Iraq — and twice received the Purple Heart for combat wounds suffered during his 21-year Marine Corps career.
People attend a candlelight vigil held, Thursday June 9, 2016 at John Jay High School, in remembrance of Master Sgt. Rodney Buentello, 42, who died on June 8, 2016 as he saved two teens caught in the undertow of the Medina River. Buentello was a 1992 John Jay High School graduate and worked at the school. About 300 people attended the vigil
Though he’d suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder in the years since his 2013 retirement from the military, the Jay High School graduate and father of three was happy to finally be home, working as an in-school suspension instructional assistant and volunteer coach at his alma mater, his wife, Lisa Buentello, said Thursday evening.
“He lost many Marines in his arms,” she said before leading about 300 high school students, friends and family in prayer to honor her husband, who died after saving the lives of two teenagers. “Seeing any young person in need, he would do whatever he could to take care of them. He tried to live life to save other people.”
Buentello, 42, drowned Wednesday while rescuing a teenage boy and girl caught in a hydraulic undertow at the dam in Bandera City Park.
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