Cowboy-Hat Hero of Boston Marathon Is Carlos Arredondo of Hollywood

Categories: News

Carlos Arredondo hollywood.jpg
Tom Ervin
Carlos Arredondo, as photographed by New Times in 2006.
One of the most iconic photos to emerge from Monday's tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon is that of a man in a cowboy hat, rushing a victim who has had his legs blown off to safety.

The man in the cowboy hat is Carlos Arredondo. He is an anti-war activist who was at the race to honor his dead sons -- one of which was killed serving in Iraq. Arredondo was in Boston to hand out American flags in honor of fallen soldiers. By the end of the day, his last flag would be soaked in blood, used as a tourniquet to save one of the bomb victim's lives.

See also:
-Matchhead: Carlos Arredondo did the unthinkable with gasoline, a Marine van, and a propane torch

Arredondo's journey began in his Hollywood home in 2004 when he learned that his son had been killed in action on his second tour of duty.

carlos arredondo boston.jpg
Screenshot from The Daily Beast
In August of 2004, Arredondo's son Alex was killed in Iraq serving in the Marines in Operation Iraqi Freedom. When the family was visited by the Marines Corps Casualty Assistance Team who notified them of Alex's death, Carlos Arredondo, unable to bear the unthinkable, filled with rage, sadness, and turmoil, lost control.

According to the New York Times, Arredondo ran into the garage screaming, "No, no! It can't be my son!"

He grabbed a gallon of gasoline, a propane torch and a sledgehammer.

Arredondo ran outside and proceeded to smash the Marine's truck and windshield. When they tried to intervene, he doused the vehicle and himself with the gasoline, and lit the torch. There was an explosion.

The Marines were able to pull him to safety, but not before Arredondo had suffered second- and third-degree burns over 20 percent of his body.

His recovery took a year. When he was back on his feet, Arredondo dedicated his life as an anti-war activist, driving around the country in Alex's pick up truck, sharing his burden, educating others, not allowing people to forget his son and his sacrifice.

Then, four years later, the unspeakable happened a second time. Arredondo's surviving son committed suicide at age 24.


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14 comments
unowhoo
unowhoo

Sorry about the repeats Chris ,sorryabout the repeats Chris.sorry about...........

unowhoo
unowhoo

Arredondo buried his two sons, along with his anger and rage.To become a hero like his boys ,who gave everything for this country....God bless you sir!!!

unowhoo
unowhoo

Arredondo buried his two sons along with his rage and anger,to become a hero like his boys  who gave everything for this country.God bless you Sir!!!

unowhoo
unowhoo

Arredondo buried his two sons, along with his anger and rage.To become a hero like his boys ,who gave everything for this country....God bless you sir!!!

FatHand
FatHand

Good show Arredondo, good show.

Barbie Garcia
Barbie Garcia

Comforting to know there is still good in humanity... His sons would be very proud of his heroic actions.

Kzm Ufc
Kzm Ufc

Kudos to Mr. Arredondo for what he did. It takes a lot of courage and a very cool head to help others in those circumstances!! Any word on who and how the guy he helped is??

Gary Swinford
Gary Swinford

to my friends...if the world is going to crazy...I'm glad that I'm in a little quiet small part of it out here in NM...I didn't come out here to get away from anything...I came out here to live in one of the truly authentic places that still feel real...I'm in nature...not the made-up nature that is invented by people...but the natural nature that has always been real...real, dangerous yes, but usually predictably dangerous...everyone take care out there...

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