CHULA VISTA, Calif. (NNS) -- Two Sailors from USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) were honored May 17 during the 16th Annual Chula Vista Police Department Awards and Recognition Ceremony.
Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class (AW) Deon Millan from Ronald Reagan’s Air Department and Gunner's Mate 3rd Class (AW) Dejion Rivers, currently assigned to Ronald Reagan’s Weapons Department, received special recognition from the Chula Vista police department for helping to stop a domestic violence attack and apprehend a suspect who left three victims hospitalized from hatchet wounds Aug. 19, 2006.
According to police reports, the two Sailors heard screams from a woman under attack by a man with a hatchet and were able to intervene in the assault. After the suspect fled, the two provided first aid to the victims and helped police apprehend the suspect by providing a description of the vehicle.
During the ceremony, each Sailor received a special “Citizen Exceptional Service Award” plaque presented by Chula Vista Police Chief Richard Emerson.
"They did a great job. For them to step forward, when you had a suspect who was acting as bizarrely and violently as he was, was amazing,” said Emerson.
“They don't have all of the things that we have on our belt, they don't have guns and tasers and handcuffs, but they stepped forward, and helped someone in a time of need, and that is very encouraging for us as a society," added Emerson.
Both Millan and Rivers said they were overwhelmed with the appreciation shown by the Chula Vista Police Department and guests who attended the event.
“Looking back, if I had to do the same thing today I don’t know if I would,” said Millan. “We didn’t think, we just acted.”
According to Rivers, whose fiancée and friends attended the event, the awards ceremony was not the first time the two Sailors had seen the victims since the attack.
“We checked up on them shortly after the attack and again during the preliminary hearing of the trial,” said Rivers. “It was good to know they were all O.K.”
Capt. Terry B. Kraft, Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer, also attended the recognition ceremony.
“The actions of petty officer Millan and petty officer Rivers have inspired me,” said Kraft. “That's the kind of community involvement and awareness that we talk about, the kind of culture that we try to instill in our Sailors.”
“They're great examples of Sailors on board Ronald Reagan. I'm very proud of both of them. Their actions were absolutely above and beyond the call of bravery," added Kraft.
Ronald Reagan is currently undergoing a planned incremental availability in her homeport of San Diego following a three-month surge deployment in support of operations in the Western Pacific.
For more news from USS Ronald Reagan, visit news.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.