Written by Phil Cerroni
Everybody hates Americans until they need to be saved. Call it what you will, but the exploits last week of a Navy veteran proved the grudging respect much of the world has for America can sometimes be tinged with a little genuine gratitude.
Saturday July 27 dawned like any other over Chatan, Okinawa where Navy veteran and Irving native, Jason Henderson, has lived and worked as a civilian employee of the Marine Corps since his honorable discharge in 2008. As he had nowhere to be that day, Henderson grabbed a friend and headed to the northernmost tip of the island, Hedo point, to unwind after his long week at work.
After a while, the two men decided to trade in the rugged beauty of Hedo point for the turquoise beaches on nearby Kouri Island. When they reached the beach, Henderson’s friend, who could not swim, plopped down on the sand to soak up the sun’s rays as Henderson waded in the surf.
Puttering around in the shallows, his attention was caught by a Japanese man swimming towards him, shouting “help” and frantically trying to get his attention.