You want to know what it means to be a Marine? You could ask Master Gunnery Sgt. Warren Coughlin.
Three years ago, while on patrol in Afghanistan, Coughlin spotted Sher Jan, a young boy selling food on the side of the road. The boy's feet were badly deformed. Coughlin knew he had to help, because sometimes, being a Marine isn't just about serving our country. It's about serving our world, and the people around us.
Coughlin took Jan to a doctor on base, but the boy's medical needs were rather severe, so he was sent to the United States to be cared for by Solace for Children, a non-profit that helps ailing children from Afghanistan get the medical attention they need. Though Solace for Children is usually a summer program, Jan stayed with the organization for two years, enduring treatment for a heart defect and two clubbed feet.
Throughout the ordeal, Coughlin says the boy's bravery was inspiring. "One of the things that struck me about him when I was in Afghanistan, was how positive he was," he told HLN affiliate WSOC.
Jan, 13, is getting ready to go back to his home in Afghanistan later this month. He is well on his way to recovery, and has a bright smile and plenty of positivity to share. Before heading home, Jan was reunited with Coughlin, just a boy and a man, sharing a moment of kindness and mutual appreciation.
To Coughlin, his story isn't exactly an act of heroism. It's just what Marines do.
"I think it says a lot about most of the Americans over there," he said. "They're just trying to do the best they can to help out."