Lance Cpl. Myles Kerr may have lost the Jeff Drenth Memorial 5K footrace in Charlevoix, Michigan, last weekend, but he won the hearts of hundreds of thousands of admirers.
On Saturday, the 19-year-old Marine noticed 9-year-old Boden Fuchs struggling to complete the race. The boy had become separated from his group. According to the Facebook page, Seal of Honor, which posted a photograph of the pair running together, Boden asked Kerr, "Sir, will you please run with me?" Kerr, wearing boots and fatigues, and carrying a full backpack, stuck with the boy, encouraged him to complete the race, and helped him reunite with his party at the end of the course—even though Kerr was dead last in his age group, clocking in at 35:43 minutes (five seconds behind Boden). He came in so much later than his Marine buddies, in fact, that they were concerned he had been injured.
The photo has received more than 200,000 likes and been shared nearly 10,000 times.
The Seal of Honor page—which was established in the memory of Lt. Michael Murphy, who served as a Navy SEAL in Afghanistan—went on to praise the young man: "By his unwavering commitment to help those in need through his ability to inspire others by his unequivocal level of motivation, Lcpl Kerr reflected great credit upon himself and was keeping in the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps."
For his part, Kerr took all the credit and admiration in stride. On Wednesday, he tweeted:
He also thanked Boden’s family for giving him a $100 gift card to the Grey Gables Inn restaurant in Charlevoix.