Orono PD Recognizes UMaine Student For His Heroic Actions
When I first heard about this story from a friend last year, I just kept shaking my head in awe and disbelief.
Growing up in Orono, I am very familiar with the area of Bennoch Road, where the incident took place. Its usually a pretty busy stretch of road. I can only imagine what might have happened, had this young man not stepped up and took the action he did.
For those who don't remember, the nutshell version of the story is that a young man, sporting a UMaine ROTC sweatshirt, was driving along Bennoch Road when he noticed that the car ahead of him was driving erratically. Ultimately recognizing that the driver was unconscious behind the wheel of a moving vehicle, the young man then went to extraordinary measures to help both the driver, and to protect the other travelers on that road that day. After EMT's arrived on scene, the gentleman seemed to disappear into thin air.
By the time the story made it to social media, folks were looking to locate the "man in the UMaine ROTC sweatshirt" for his heroism. Thankfully, they were able to track him down and eventually identify him as Josheph Cali, UMaine student and member of the University's ROTC program.
Flash forward a few months later to this week, when the Orono PD shared the full account of what happened that harrowing day, in this post on their Facebook page. They also took time to formally honor Cali for his quick thinking and bravery in the face of such an ordeal.
According to the leadership at the University of Maine's ROTC program, this is exactly what they hope the students they deal with will take away from their experience with the program.
Master Sergeant Frank Gill Senior, Military Science Instructor, said he was very proud to learn of Cali's actions and subsequent honor.
"Was I surprised? Yes, who wouldn’t be when they hear such great news! As a leader and mentor of young men and women, you often wonder if Cadets are getting the message, and buying into the culture of the Army. Over the last three years I was able to watch Joe grow and become part of this culture. His display of personal courage on December 11 reinforces every thing the Army is about, and it is what we hope every Soldier would do in that moment."
I am so glad they were able to track this young man down and that he's receiving these well-deserved accolades. His motivation in the moment was about as selfless as it gets. To read the full account of what happened that day is pretty amazing. To know just how hard Cali tried to make sure that this person in distress, and the public at large, were not harmed, speaks volumes to his character. It's outstanding people like Joseph Cali, and all those who rise to the occasion in the face of danger--instead of looking in the other direction, who renew my faith in humanity.
Thank you, Sir, indeed.
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