Photo Information

U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Jay Wilfrom the adjutant chief for the 4th Marine Corps District and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, native poses with Loretta Marburger at the Defense Distribution Center Susquehanna in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania Sept. 11, 2015 after receiving his second Navy Marine Corps Medal. He received his first in 1995 for saving a teenage military dependent from drowning in Iwakuni, Japan. He received his second for saving Marbuger from her burning house in 2014. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tyler Birky/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Kyle Welshans

Pittsburgh Marine receives second Navy Marine Corps Medal

11 Sep 2015 | Cpl. Kyle Welshans 4th Marine Corps District

Master Sgt. Jay Wilfrom, the adjutant chief for the 4th Marine Corps District, received the Navy Marine Corps Medal in a ceremony at the Defense Distribution Center Susquehanna in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, September 11.

            This is Wilfrom’s second time receiving the award. His first time was in 1995 after saving an American military dependent from a whirlpool in Iwakuni, Japan. At the time Pfc. Wilfrom, witnessed several teenagers swimming in the Nishiki River when he noticed them struggling to stay afloat. Wilfrom and another Marine jumped in the save the teens. Wilfrom drug one of the teens to shore saving him.

            On June 8, 2014 Wilfrom received a phone call saying that there was a fire behind his mother’s house.

         “I sprang up and ran to the fire”, said Wilfrom. “Me and another guy noticed there was a woman inside the house and that we needed to get her out.”

          According to Loretta Marburger, the woman inside the house, that’s when Wilfrom and Al Scroggins kicked down the door of the home and entered to search for her.

            “I would want someone to do the same thing for me if I was in that situation,” said Wilfrom.

            When they arrived where I was the house was filled with flames and smoke, to where you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face, said Marburger.

        When the two men got her out of the house they collapsed on the ground from exhaustion. That’s when they noticed the downed power lines around them and continued to the road to safety. 

        “I knew I was getting her out of that house with me, there was no other option,” said Wilfrom.

            “I couldn’t ask for anything more, he saved my life,” said Marburger. “I didn’t think I was going to make it out. But when I saw them and they started dragging me out that’s when I knew I would be getting out.”

            Wilfrom became the third Marine since World War II to receive the award two times, according to Mrs. Suzanne Spray of the Navy Department of Decorations and Medals.

         “This is about her getting to see her grandson be born, she got to celebrate her son’s birthday, it’s all about that, It’s not about me,” said Wilfrom.

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4th Marine Corps District