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Retired Marine Dies While Saving Drowning Teens in Bandera

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A retired Marine died while rescuing two teens from the Medina River in Bandera, Texas on Wednesday.

Rodney Buentello, of San Antonio, was visiting Bandera with his wife and children when he dove into the Medina to save a girl and boy who were swept away in the strong current of the river.

According to the Bandera Marshal’s Office, the girl tried to walk across the closed dam and was swept away in the undertow. The boy jumped in to rescue her, but he was also swept away.

Buentello was in a nearby park with his family when he saw the teens drowning. He dove in and got them to safety, but drowned before rescuers could get to him.

Buentello was a decorated Marine and a Purple Heart recipient. He served deployments with the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan. When he returned stateside, he found work as a teacher at John Jay High School.

He would have turned 44 on June 27, according to Fox San Antonio.

If you want to help Buentello’s family, they have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to cover upcoming expenses.

The Bandera Marshal’s Office said they will charge the girl with a violation.