January 3, 2007, - 11:49 am

True Heroism on the New York Subway

By Debbie Schlussel
Meet Wesley Autrey of Manhattan–a real-life Superman in the real-life Metropolis.
Yesterday, the 50-year-old Vietnam Veteran jumped onto the New York Subway tracks to keep a young man from getting run over. Cameron Hollopeter, 19, had a seizure and fell onto the tracks. While most would have screamed in desperation, Autrey did the unthinkable and heroic, risking his own life to save that of a stranger.
After trying to pull Hollopeter up from the tracks, Autrey quickly jumped onto the tracks pushing Hollopeter down into a drainage trough betewen the rails, and pinning both of them down. With this heroic move, Autrey saved Hollopeter from likely death from a quickly approaching train–just in the nick of time.


Wesley Autrey: American Hero & Real-Life Superman

The train cars went over them with just two inches to spare. Subway drainage troughs, just under the train tracks are only 8 to 24 inches deep, with the trains just above.
Yes, real men are not gone from America. We just don’t hear about them enough. Wesley Autrey, American Hero.
**** UPDATE: Reader Dave, a Vietnam Vet, noting Autrey’s tremendous heroism, notices that media reports (mostly from AP) might be incorrectly reporting on Autrey’s status as a Vietnam Vet (or, more likely, got his age wrong):

Ms Schlussel:
Just read your piece on Mr Wesley Autrey, who is a real hero,
cannot deny that. But if he is 50, how can he be a Viet Nam vet
please? Born in 1957, ten years old in 1967, and twenty in 1977. All US troops out of SVN in 1973 except for advisors to ARVN and USMC guards at the Embassy, so he would have been only 16! Oops. Unless they got his age incorrect perhaps? Just wondering is

That’s a good question. Perhaps reporters made it up. But two media accounts I saw (here and here) reported that Autrey is a Vietnam Vet. It appears AP originally reported he was a Vietnam Vet and then sent out later versions that omit that.
Regardless, either way, Wesley Autrey is a great American and a hero. No doubt about that.
**** UPDATE, 01/05/07: Turns out that the original AP report was correct, after all. Wesley is a proud U.S. Navy Veteran of Vietnam.

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13 Responses

Black, White, Yellow or Martian, it doesn’t matter as long as you love your fellow citizen, have the courage to defend him or her if he or she is in danger (remember the field in Pennsylvania on 9/11/2001?) and it doesn’t matter as long as you are ready to defend America until the last drop of your blood.

Independent Conservative on January 3, 2007 at 1:55 pm

This is a man’s man, and a true American. Take a good, long look. This is an endangered species.

Skippy on January 3, 2007 at 2:22 pm

That’s a real american right there. A man that SHOULD be held up as a true role model not just for young blacks like myself, but for all young boys in america.
But the media will make us forget about this guy by tommorrow….why….he’s not their image of the black man. You don’t think they will? Just watch.

Squirrel3D on January 3, 2007 at 2:24 pm

Assuming the age is not wrong there’s still a chance he served in the Vietnam war as a very young man- Let’s say he turns 51 this year so from 1973-1975 he would’ve been 17-19.
Regardless, this courageous man is a hero just the same. “Wesley Autrey” is a name that should not be forgotten anytime soon.

Norman Blitzer on January 3, 2007 at 2:53 pm

It is a stretch, but he could be 50 and still have served in Vietnam. If he was 17 when he graduated for H.S., he could have gone in at that age and he could be 51 any day now.
Or he could be a “Vietnam era vet”, sometimes referred to, erroneously, as a Vietnam vet.

feralcat9 on January 3, 2007 at 4:09 pm

“…more powerful than a locomotive…”
Seriously, the guy has guts and consideration for his fellow man.
Bloomberg, a/k/a, The King of New York, should get some face time with him and laud him for the hero he is…but don’t hold your breath because it isn’t about him (the King).

Thee_Bruno on January 3, 2007 at 4:33 pm

He was probably wearing an item of clothing that looked “military” and the reporter, being lazy and incompetent, as so many are, made the assumtion that he was a vet. I hope their failings don’t detract from this man’s heroic action one bit. I’m so sick of people who manage to not die from their own stupidity and or selfishness being called “heros”! This story is what heroism is about.

TBinSTL on January 3, 2007 at 7:31 pm

My uncle joined the Marines at 16 and they didn’t want to hear anything different after it was discovered by an alert CO. Too much of a shit storm. He retired from the Marines twenty years later.
Also, he could have been Army in Cambodia or Laos. I just finished Jim Lehrer’s new book, the Phony Marine. The guy lies about a silver star but ends up a real hero, interesting premise. This guy deserves the benefit of doubt, though. Checking a guy’s military background is not easy. Many guys had secret orders or were classified. I don’t care what you think you know, it is a much more complicated issue than common sense would dictate.

code7 on January 3, 2007 at 8:17 pm

I just checked. The VFW recognizes some Vietnam Veterans from as late as April 30th, 1975. And that is just the unclassified stuff.

code7 on January 3, 2007 at 8:33 pm

CodeBroken flew clandestine missions for the CIA into Laos and Cambodia during the War of 1812.

Thee_Bruno on January 3, 2007 at 9:40 pm

This CBN report describers Autrey as a Navy vet, not a Vietnam vet. http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/81860.aspx
Both “Vietnam” and “U.S. Navy” veteran are proud titles to go with his new honorofic, hero.

MarcH on January 4, 2007 at 10:08 am

” … the 50-year-old Vietnam Veteran … ”
Thanks, “Dave”, ya beat me to it. I requested to be assigned to ANY unit in Vietnam in 1972 and was refused based upon the rapid draw-down of forces and the coming RIFs.
There are LOTS of poseurs STILL running around out there. The State of Michigan allows Vietnam “ERA” Veterans to obtain “Vietnam Veteran” license plates. I made it clear to the Sec’y of State employee that because I wasn’t actually THERE, I would take the “Army Veteran” license plate instead.
BTW … For those unaware, fully 90% of the military personnel who served in Vietnam were SUPPORT troops – like the four whopping months that Sp/4 Albert Gore Jr. spent behind a typewriter in the NCO Club. The slug has the nerve to call himself a “Vietnam Veteran” when his daddy arranged to have his ticket punched, read: resumÈ enhanced.
~(ƒ)~ Death From Above

Rocketman on January 4, 2007 at 11:10 am

Has anyone asked a REAL HERO (John Kerry has assured us) what he thinks of this poor, uneducated black Veteran risking his life to save another.
You work hard. You get an education, and maybe you won’t end up under a NY train.
Seriously… we need citizen heroes like Mr Autrey. Well done sir.

Jack Bauer on January 4, 2007 at 2:18 pm

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