P.O. 3rd Class Lauren J. Singer Is Sailor of The Year

This story came to my attention a couple of days ago via a Facebook posting. Though it is a two-year-old story now, I thought this young sailor’s character and actions are a great example of the kind of people who serve in our military services. The sailor’s name is Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren J. Singer, an aviation machinist’s mate who, at the time of this incident, was serving with the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron at Naval Air Station North Island, California.

This story took place on the beautiful Coronado Bridge in San Diego, California, in 2020. Petty Officer Singer was simply driving across the bridge, something she had done probably hundreds of times before, but on that day, something happened that would test her courage like nothing ever had before. What she did made a profound difference in one lonely and desperate person’s life, and it revealed a great deal about Singer’s own nature.

As she was driving over the bridge, she noticed a car parked on the bridge and a man standing outside of it. She stopped and got out of her car, and when she approached him and inquired if he needed any help, the man replied by saying he was “fine,” but Singer’s instincts were not convinced.

Photo: Adobe Stock/Srdjan

The man then quickly put a rope around his neck that was already tied to the bridge rail and climbed up onto the barrier to jump. Singer rushed immediately to the man and grabbed him, pulling him off of the barrier. Stunned by what had just happened, she asked the man what he was doing. We can imagine the tone of her voice in asking that seemingly obvious question. But ominously, he responded that he “was planning to die that day.”

The man’s planning had apparently been quite elaborate as well, which became clear to Singer in the few short moments of this encounter that must have seemed like a kind of slow-motion eternity as it unfolded. Singer noticed that he had laid a knife on the ledge of the bridge. She immediately grabbed the knife and quickly cut the rope away from the bridge. According to the descriptions of the event that I was able to find, the man seemingly did not put up a struggle as she did this. We can only speculate why.

Singer then dropped the knife to the ground and kicked it under the car to get it out of reach. But the most troubling element was that she also became aware of the fact that he had a gun in his pocket, which she removed, and, as she did so, she directed bystanders to call 911. Her instincts proved to be spot on in every one of the actions she took over those very brief but absolutely important moments in both Singer’s and that man’s life.

Photo: Facebook/Battlesight Zero

It is very hard for most of us to know the desperate psychological level of despair that brings a person to the kind of decision that brought that man to that moment on the Coronado Bridge that day. Neither can we really know what graces brought Petty Officer Singer there at the same time. But we are deeply moved by the actions that Petty Officer 3rd Class Singer took so quickly and so courageously that day in saving that person’s life. We cannot know the story behind that man’s decision, but we can honor and praise the courage it took to prevent the potential tragedy that Petty Officer Singer encountered there.

What Singer did that day shows us the better angels of our human nature. She could have kept driving on after she saw the man standing outside of his car there on the bridge, but she didn’t. We might ask, how many did just that? Or more challengingly, we might ask ourselves if we would have stopped. Her first instinct was to help a possible stranded motorist in a difficult situation on a busy bridge. But she could not have imagined what she eventually encountered in the ensuing moments. What she did for that life in those moments is immeasurable in its importance. She put an unknown person’s life before her own, and in doing so, made a difference.

For her actions that day she was recognized by the USO as the Sailor of The Year in 2020. We can only hope that the Navy has recognized her with a commendation as well. She certainly deserves it. We thank Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren J. Singer for her actions on behalf of that person’s life that day. And we say, “Bravo Zulu,” Petty Officer Singer.

Support Veterans

Provide food and supplies to veterans at The Veterans Site for free!