Sailor receives Navy’s highest noncombat honor after life-saving tackle

Veterans Voices

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — Helicopter Sea Squadron 9 officers and sailors stood in formation Tuesday afternoon as Navy Helicopter Aircrewman, George Parsons III was called to the front.

He was presented the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, the Navy’s highest non-combat honor by Commander of Naval Airforce Atlantic for his role in protecting a local police officer from a suspect, just feet away from his backyard last year.

The possibly lifesaving response was all captured on a witness’s cell phone.

Back on Oct 24, 2019, Parsons was at his Elizabeth City home when a police officer came through his neighborhood chasing a suspect.

When he saw the suspect was trying to take the officer’s gun, he jumped into an 8-foot drainage ditch, climbed out, sprinted through high cornfields, and took the suspect down.

He then helped the officer secure the suspect in handcuffs.

“I hope the community just sees us as we’re here to help, here to do what’s right,” said Parsons.

It didn’t take his Navy squadron leaders long to catch wind of what happened.

Parson’s chain of command nominated him for the medal, which is a lengthy approval process then slowed down even more by the pandemic.

“We are very proud of his actions that he took on that day to save somebody else’s life it is the best embodiment of the men and women who join the military and a selfless action that saved another human being’s life,” said Commanding Officer of HSC-9 Michael Marks.

Marks says it’s amazing to see it all come to fruition.

“I’m honored to receive an award like this wasn’t expecting it just trying to do what was right,” said Parsons.

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