CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Department of the Army civilians are bound by an Army Civilian Corps Creed. Part of that creed reads, “I live the Army Values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.”
Letterkenny Army Depot civilian Jeremy Crouse embodies the Army Values in both his professional and personal life.
In a recent act of heroism, Crouse, the logistics division chief for the Directorate of Supply and Transportation at Letterkenny, encapsulated the values of duty, selfless service and personal courage.
On Aug. 15 at approximately 5:45 p.m., Crouse was boating with his family and friends at Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County when he decided to head home for the day.
“We normally leave around 7 p.m., but I just got the urge that I needed to go home,” he said. “I had audits coming up the next week and just had a lot going on, but I just had this overwhelming feeling I had to go home.”
As Crouse navigated his pontoon boat between an island and cliffs, he observed screaming coming from the cliffs. “I looked over and heard people screaming – which is normal with people jumping off of the cliffs, so nothing immediately stood out,” Crouse reported. “But then one of the ladies on my boat said, ‘Hey, Jeremy, I think there’s something bad going on over there,’ and that’s when I knew that something bad happened.”
Crouse moved his boat closer to the source of the screams and stopped about 50 yards out. “I didn’t want to take my boat in any farther in case there was someone underneath,” he said.
Crouse emptied his pockets and dove in, swimming approximately 40 yards from his boat to the scene to assess the situation and provide aid.
A woman had jumped from the highest cliff and never resurfaced after entering the water. Crouse joined the search effort and immediately began diving to search for the woman.
On his third dive, Crouse finally found something. “I kept swimming down until I saw something white and shiny,” Crouse said. He had found her.
“I tried to grab her, but I ran out of breath,” he said. Crouse swam to the surface and immediately called to the other rescuers for assistance. “I started screaming that I found her, but I needed help.” Another gentleman dove into the area that Crouse identified, and began pulling the woman up.
“We all went over and helped him,” Crouse said. “We were able to get her out of the water against the side of the cliff.”
As Crouse called to his friend to bring the boat over, the gentleman who pulled her out began administering rescue breaths.
Crouse helped get everyone out of the water and onto his boat. One of the passengers, who is a nurse, began CPR as Crouse navigated the boat back to shore – joining police and first responders. “From there, the ambulance took her up to a landing zone where they had to life flight her to Altoona hospital,” Crouse reported.
The team’s lifesaving efforts restored her heartbeat and breathing and she is expected to make a full recovery.
In recounting the events of that day, Crouse reinforced the teamwork and cooperation that existed within the group of good Samaritans.
“I call it a ‘symphony of saviors’ because everybody was playing their part,” he said. “Always look for the heroes in a crisis. Maybe I was considered one of the heroes but, looking around, all I saw were the other heroes.”
The community support that Crouse experienced that day may ultimately develop into lifelong friendships. Crouse shared that once the woman makes a full recovery and the family acclimates back to normal life, there are hopes for a celebration.
“We’ve already talked about having a big party together with the others that helped,” he shared. “I can’t wait to give her the biggest hug ever. My daughter can’t wait to see everyone again. Everyone was so invested, and it was an experience I don’t think anyone will forget.”
Crouse attributes his passion for service to his upbringing. “It’s been instilled in me from a young age by my parents that we always need to be helping each other.”
Growing up, Crouse participated in his church and the Boy Scouts. As an adult, he started his own nonprofit. “Our goal is helping kids and families in need.”
Crouse has carried these values into his role as an Army civilian at Letterkenny Army Depot. He attributes his ability to advance professionally to his mentors. “Letterkenny has been really good to me, and my advancement has always been from the help of others,” he shared. “My mentors showed me leadership, management and other skills. I want people to feel the same way that I felt when they come in to government service.”
The Letterkenny mission echoes Crouse’s personal mission of selfless service.
“Everything we do at Letterkenny is for the warfighter. We have a responsibility to provide our brothers and sisters, who are willing to give their lives, the best possible equipment and support,” Crouse said.
Crouse shared that he wishes that everyone can take one lesson from his story: “Be quick to action; it can save a life.”
Letterkenny Army Depot is the Army’s premier professional organic maintenance facility that provides overhaul, repair and modifications for tactical missile air defense and space systems, electric power generation equipment and various military vehicles, support systems and protection programs. LEAD is a subordinate of U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, and is the Air and Missile Defense and Long Range Precision Fires depot, supporting systems for the Department of Defense, foreign partners and industry. Letterkenny Army Depot was established in 1942 and is a government-owned and -operated industrial installation located in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
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