Rodney Buentello saved the lives of two teens at the price of his own. On Thursday, the community honored the Marine Corps veteran at John Jay High School.
Well over one hundred people attended the vigil. The huge crowd served as a reflection of how much Rodney was loved.
Family members spoke at the vigil, including his wife. They said that Rodney was not only a family man but a mentor who loved and cared about his students.
On Wednesday afternoon, Rodney was at Bandera City Park when he saw a teen walking across a dam who was then pulled into the waters. A second teen jumped in after her. That’s when Rodney quickly went after both of them.
He died saving their lives.
"When I heard what happened it didn't shock me at all,” friend and fellow Marine Troy Garner said. “That's kind of what’s engrained in his DNA. He really embodies the Marine Corps values of honor, courage and commitment."
Rodney was in the Marine Corp for 20 years, serving three tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.