Thursday, December 7, 2023

Former Williamsburg resident awarded 2020 USO Sailor of the Year

Lauren Singer (WYDaily/Courtesy of United Services Organization)

Actions speak louder than words, especially when those actions save another person’s life.

And because of one person’s actions, Williamsburg has a new hero.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren J. Singer is being recognized by the United Services Organization as the 2020 Sailor of the year.

Singer is receiving the honor after saving a man from taking his own life.

While driving back to her on base residence near San Diego, Cal., Singer spotted a stranded motorist on the side of the road over the Coronado Bridge. She stopped to see if he required any help, but when the driver responded he was fine, his tone told her something was off, according to the description from USO’s webpage.

“I will always help if I can and commonly stop for people who have broken down or need assistance. I think that people are on this earth to help each other,” Singer said in an email statement.

As the man was attempting to go over the roadside barrier, Singer pulled the man back, disarmed him, and directed other stopped motorists to lock the weapons in a car trunk and call 911. She then waited with the man until the California Highway Patrol arrived.

Because of her quick thinking and courageousness, Singer is USO’s Sailor of the Year.

“It’s astonishing to even be considered for this honor,” she said. “To me, this award displays the importance of helping others and upholding your values even through the thick and difficult times. I never would have imagined that helping a stranger in need would lead to all of this, but maybe it will open some eyes and motivate individuals to help one another.”

Singer was born in Williamsburg but her family periodically moved due to her father’s career. She said she would often come back to Virginia to visit her grandfather.

A strong family history of military service and a desire for structure and discipline inspired Singer to join the service. Her maternal grandfather was a chemical engineer on the Manhattan project, and her paternal grandfather served in the Army Air Corps as a B17 gunner/pilot during the Vietnam War. She said she strives to reach their level of courageousness.

After her actions in California, she probably has already. Her impulse to stop exemplifies how a simple act of kindness can have a great impact on others.

“I encourage those who have a chance to lend a helping [hand] to do so, even the smallest of gesture for you, may consequently change, or quite possibly save someone’s life,” she said.

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