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Retired Marine master sergeant dies while saving drowning teens


Principal-660x390[1]A man credited with saving the lives of two teens, at the cost of his own, was reportedly a Marine Corps veteran and a two-time Purple Heart recipient.

Retired Marine Master Sgt. Rodney Buentello was spending Wednesday afternoon with his family at Bandera City Park, about an hour northwest of San Antonio, when he witnessed the two teens in peril.

The Bandera Marshal’s office said that one of the teens was trying to walk across a park dam illegally when she was swept away by rushing water. The other teen went into the water to help her, but he got stuck as well.

Buentello then dove in and managed to save both teens. However, he was dragged under the water and drowned before rescuers could reach him.

Buentello had served as a recruiter in San Antonio and the training chief and class instructor for Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron in Iwakuni, Japan, according to Marine Corps news releases.

Pascual Gonzales with the San Antonio-area school district said Buentello was hired as an instructional assistant at John Jay High School in San Antonio in 2013. He resigned from the school on good terms last month.

Gonzales said Buentello was also a former student at John Jay.

In addition to Beyond being a decorated Marine and educator, Buentello was described as a family man. According to a GoFundMe Page created for his family, Buentello is survived by his wife,  Lisa; and three sons.

Friends and family took to social media following Buentello’s death to express their condolences and admiration for the Marine vet.