Rodney Buentello was a 43-year-old marine veteran who died in June while saving two children from drowning in the Medina River. Buentello, his wife, and their two children were enjoying a leisurely day at Bandera City Park when the family witnessed a boy and a girl being swept away by the river's harsh currents.
Right before Buentello dove in his wife Lisa said,
"He went to go out on the dam and he turned around and looked at me and I just told him 'Don't'. I said 'Don't'. He just looked at me and just went out".
During his time in service, Buentello received two Purple Hearts during his three tours and his wife Lisa shared that he was also a very strong swimmer.
While he was in the water, Lisa noted,
"He was struggling a little, but he looked at me and took his last breath and just went down and pushed the kid out".
The bad news did not stop after her husband's death. Lisa Buentello had mistakenly believed that they were covered by life insurance from the Marine Corps.
"But unfortunately when he retired, it didn't transfer over".
Lisa Buentello immediately panicked as she had no way of paying for her late husband's funeral cost or supplementing his missing income to continue to care for her two sons.
However a local nonprofit was quick to help. The non-profit is known as Heart 2 Heart 4U, and they were able to organize a fundraiser to help pay for some of the Buentello family's most recent expenses.
"This has helped me pay for his funeral arrangements. This will help me and the boys for the next couple of months until I can do more," said Buentello.
Upon returning home, Buentello coached football at his previous high school and also worked as a teacher's aide. In no time, he became well respected among his peers as well as a student favorite.
Lisa somberly shared,
"Every student every young person that he could help he did".
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