Charlie Winter is a devoted dad who would do anything for his kids. He’d throw himself in front a train â€” and even a shark.
That’s exactly what the North Carolina dad did Sunday when his 17-year-old daughter, Paige, was attacked by a shark in Atlantic Beach at Fort Macon State Park. The heroic dad punched the shark five times to save his daughter’s life.
â€œThey were standing in waist-deep water and chatting and then Paige suddenly got pulled under,â€ close family friend Brandon Bersch told TODAY Parents. As soon as Charlie realized what was happening, he jumped into action and began striking the shark on the nose. â€œCharlie wouldnâ€™t stop until it released his little girl,â€ Brandon said. â€œHe lives for his children.”
Charlie, a veteran firefighter and paramedic, immediately knew the extent of Paigeâ€™s trauma and began applying pressure on her leg while hurrying back to shoreline. â€œHe remained calm the entire time,â€ Bersch told TODAY Parents. â€œPaige is alive today because of her father.â€
Paige was airlifted 80 miles to Greenvilleâ€™s Vidant Medical Center where she underwent emergency surgery including a leg amputation. The high school junior, who also suffered severe trauma to both of her hands, has a long road ahead. (A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover Paigeâ€™s medical expenses.) â€œPaige has more surgeries upcoming, but she’s really optimistic,” Bersch revealed. “As soon as Paige woke up at the hospital, she made a comment about how she doesnâ€™t have animosity toward sharks and she still loves the sea.â€ …
Bowling applauds how Charlie handled a terrifying situation. â€œHitting a shark in the snout or the gills is the best defense if you are being attacked,â€ he told TODAY Parents. â€œHe absolutely did the right thing.â€
In 2013, Charlie rescued a then 2-year-old boy from a home that was fully engulfed in flames. His act of heroism earned him the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the US National Firefighter Award. As Bersch told TODAY Parents, “Charlie is the bravest man I know
The blood of Marines everywhere must be boiling over the administration’s idea of spending $8 million to change the iconic Marines’ male white barracks cover to a reduced unisex version.
Thanks to a plan by President Obama to create a â€œunisexâ€ look for the Corps, officials are on the verge of swapping out the Marinesâ€™ iconic caps â€“ known as â€œcoversâ€ â€” with a new version that some have derided as so â€œgirlyâ€ that they would make the French blush.
â€œWe donâ€™t even have enough funding to buy bullets, and the DoD is pushing to spend $8 million on covers that look like womenâ€™s hats!â€ one senior Marine source fumed to The Post. â€œThe Marines deserve better. It makes them look ridiculous.â€
The thin new covers have a feminine line that some officials think would make them look just as good on female marines as on males â€” in keeping with the Obama directive.
â€œThe Marine Corps is being â€˜encouragedâ€™ by DoD to standardize on a unisex/universal dress and service cap,â€ Marine brass noted in an internal memo obtained by The Post.
Male and female Marines currently wear gender-specific caps.
The controversial covers have been dubbed the â€œDan Dalyâ€ hat, after a World War I sergeant from Long Island who twice won the Medal of Honor.
But some Marines love the old hat, which has been in use since 1922 and think the new hat is a glorified â€œporterâ€™s cap.â€ The new Daly model is based on a style the Marines used from 1904 to 1918 â€“ and then jettisoned.
â€œThe Dan Daly cap looks too French, and the last people we want to associate our Marines with would be the French military,â€ wrote one commenter on the Marine Times Web site.
As of now, the new covers are only in the proposal stage.
Marines have until Friday to cast their votes on whether to adopt them or keep the old hat with modifications. Marine Corps head Gen. James Amos will make the final decision.
According to the memo obtained by The Post, requiring all troops to use the Daly cover will cost $8,221,958. Going with the traditional cap will save $284,043, because the current female caps are more expensive.
â€œWhy are we even focused on this while we are laying troops off for no budget?â€ another Marine Times commenter asked.
Some images of Marines in 1900s China, wearing the old-style cover, which was blue, not white.
I think my father’s 1942 model looks better.
For the 5k at the Venetian Festival in Charlevoix, [Michigan] Lcpl [Lance Corporal] Kerr opted to run the event wearing boots and utes [utilities] and carrying a ruck sack. Several minutes after the other Marines he was with had finished, Lcpl Kerr still had not crossed the line. They feared his extreme level of motivation may have caused him injury and/or fatigue resulting in him dropping out of the race. Moments before they ran back through the course to recover their fellow Marine, Lcpl Kerr came around the last turn along with this small boy. The boy had become separated from those who he had started the race with. He asked Lcpl Kerr, â€œSir? Will you please run with me?â€. Throughout the course, Lcpl Kerr urged him on when the boy wanted to give up and ensured that the boy saw the course to completion where he was reunited with his party. By his unwavering commitment to help those in need through his ability to inspire others by his unequivocal level of motivation, Lcpl Kerr reflected great credit upon himself and was keeping in the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps.
Marine resting in Iraq
Veteran Marine officer Peter Somerville (who served in the Middle East) offers some perspective on the recent weather.
Yesterday’s High Temps:
Washington, DC: 102 degrees
29 Palms, CA: 106 degrees
Ramadi, Iraq: 117 degrees
Kandahar, Afghanistan: 107 degrees
Only one of those numbers represents a heat wave.