Thursday, August 1, 2013
Marine Lance Cpl. Myles Kerr told ABC News he doesn't consider himself a hero and was just "doing the right thing" when he dropped back in a 5k race over the weekend to run with a boy who had become separated from his group.
Kerr's good deed was captured in a photo that has since gone viral, garnering hundreds of thousands of likes and shares on Facebook.
In the photo, Kerr, 19, wearing his boots and gear, was looking back at 9-year-old Boden Fuchs as the pair ran toward the finish line at the Jeff Drenth Memorial 5K in Charlevoix, Mich., over the weekend.
"He was walking when I ran by him," Kerr said. "I looked at him and said, 'Hey, little guy, you alright?' And he said, 'Will you run with me?'"
The pair stuck together for the rest of the race, with Kerr motivating the boy to keep striding toward the finish line.
They crossed the finish line just shy of the 35-minute mark, at which point Kerr said he made sure Boden found his family before he went on with his day.
Later that night, a friend, whose husband is a reservist Marine, posted the photo of Kerr and Boden running together.
"I just thought it was cool someone actually got a picture of me running with him," Kerr said. "Then, my recruiter ended up posting it and that's when it took off."
Kerr, who is near the end of a one-week leave from Camp Pendleton in California and has been a Marine for nine months, said he has been left "speechless" by the attention he has been getting from people who have been inspired by the photo.
He said Boden's family even gave him a $100 restaurant gift card, which he plans to use before returning to California.
"As a Marine, we try to reach out and help as much as we can," he said. "I don't think I'm a hero. I was just trying to help."