Oscar Stewart: A Name to Remember

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Military training tends to stay with you:

 

Stewart, 51, told The Daily Caller on Sunday he doesn’t remember any conscious thought from the moment he heard the gun shots until it was all over — he just acted on instinct to stop the shooter and prevent him from leaving so he couldn’t hurt more people somewhere else. The Iraq combat veteran said his military training kicked in.

“I knew I had to be within five feet of this guy so his rifle couldn’t get to me,” Stewart said. “So I ran immediately toward him, and I yelled as loud as I could. And he was scared. I scared the hell out of him.”

Stewart served in the Navy in explosive ordnance disposal from 1990 to 1994, then enlisted in the Army in 2001 because of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

“Looking back, it was kind of a crazy idea to do, but I did it.” He was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and left the military in 2004, as a staff sergeant. He’s now in construction work.

When the gunman opened fire, he was in the back of the synagogue. By the time he got to the lobby, the shooter had killed one woman, blown the finger off of a rabbi, and injured two others.

“I heard gunshots,” Stewart said. “And everybody got up and started trying to get out the back door, so I — for whatever reason — I didn’t do that. I ran the other way. I ran towards the gun shots.”

“When I came around the corner into the lobby area, I saw the individual with a gun, and he fired two rounds. And I yelled at him and I must have yelled very loud, and he looked at me, and I must have had a really mean look on my face or something, because he immediately dropped his weapon and turned and ran. And then I gave chase.”

Go here to read the rest.  As CS Lewis noted, courage is an essential virtue:

Now this is a ticklish business. We have made men proud of most vices, but not of cowardice. Whenever we have almost succeeded in doing so, the Enemy permits a war or an earthquake or some other calamity, and at once courage becomes so obviously lovely and important even in human eyes that all our work is undone, and there is still at least one vice of which they feel genuine shame. The danger of inducing cowardice in our patients, therefore, is lest we produce real self-knowledge and self-loathing with consequent repentance and humility. And in fact, in the last war, thousands of humans, by discovering their own cowardice, discovered the whole moral world for the first time. In peace we can make many of them ignore good and evil entirely; in danger, the issue is forced upon them in a guise to which even we cannot blind them.

CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 

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15 Comments

  1. “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,”
    Pig fat on all Muslim terrorists. No heaven, no virgins, just pig fat.

  2. (Bacon & Bourbon pepper spray – please.)

    Courage yes, but in the moment specifically -Righteous Anger in defense of the innocent. That’s all he was armed with.
    God Bless him. Lives were saved.

  3. I can almost HEAR the Ordie screaming what he’s reported to have said– I’m sure there’s a reasonable angle and echo reason that he’d sound like five folks yelling right there, besides good ol’ Navy and Army bellowing, and he just happened to accidentally yell in the EXACT spot to make him sound intimidating enough.
    (Angel or “good luck,” thank G-d it worked.)

    I’m sorry the lady hero died, I’m grateful she was successful and so was this hero.

  4. I’m not attempting to take anything away from this man’s bravery and courage for that is what it is and it is real, but the woman who put herself between the gunman and her rabbi…there is no love greater than to give up ones life for another…

  5. “(Bacon & Bourbon pepper spray – please.)” Pig fat and sacred cow fat stopped a war once before. It is time to tell the terrorists that their graves will be filled with pig fat and that the terrorist will be rolled in pig fat like mummies in shrouds. The 9/11 graves of the terrorists on Staten Island are covered in pig fat. More pig fat.
    I remember saving tin foil to foul Nazi radar and torn nylon stockings to rebuild Japan. It is time to save pig fat with or without bourbon. More pig fat.

  6. Good morning Mary De Voe.

    Fight or flight. That’s that nanosecond one has to know for certain that the unknown and known are colliding at light speed. The action is trust or doubt.
    The freeze is doubt. Fear.

    I pray Mary that I will not freeze.
    I pray that I will place myself in harm’s way if the circumstances unfold in like manner as they did with Mr. Stewart.

    Christ over me, beside me, under me, surrounding me, Christ within me be my guide. St. Patrick forgive me.. 🙂

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