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Decorated Marine dies saving drowning teenagers

Marine Corps veteran, employee at John Jay High School and recipient of the purple heart, Rodney Buentello lost his life as he heroically saved others.

Rodney Buentello

Buentello was spending an afternoon last week with his family at the Bandera City Park, when he spotted a young girl trying to walk across a dam when she faltered and was swept away. A teenage boy jumped in to try and save his friend but immediately got into difficulties.

In a flash Buentello went straight into the water to save the children, when tragedy struck and he was dragged under by the raging current. Buentello’s father spoke about how his son never hesitated before jumping into the water to save the teenagers and how he took his final breath as he pushed the young boy to safety.

William Vaughn, Buentello’s brother-in-law explained how this final act of bravery summed up who Rodney Buentello was, a true hero. Buentello served in the Marines for 20 years, during this time he completed three tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Rodney had joined the Marines to be like his father, however his father Raul Buentello was quick to point out how much his son had far exceeded him.

Buentello was a father to three boys and his family meant everything to him. Nothing gave him more pleasure than coaching his children in sports, in fact after he had retired from the Marines, he was hired in 2013 as an assistant football coach at his former high school, John Jay High School. Buentello resigned from this position in May, leaving on good terms to pursue another job.

Following the death of this hero, friends and family expressed their total admiration on social media for Rodney Buentello, a true family man, local hero and decorated war hero.

R.I.P Rodney Buentello.

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