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Navy Medical Student Honored for Heroism

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 2, 1996 – A Navy medical student received the Navy Marine Corps Medal for his heroism in saving fellow passengers following the crash of an Amtrak commuter train in Laurel, Md.

Ensign Michail Charissis, 23, a second-year medical student at DoD's Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., was riding in a Maryland Rail Commuter when it collided with an Amtrak train Feb. 16. Charissis had a chance to escape from the car he was riding in, but instead returned to help a seriously injured fellow passenger, Geraldine Dykes of Laurel, DoD officials said.

With great effort, Charissis managed to get an emergency window open and to pull Dykes through to rescuers on the ground, officials said. The ensign then helped other injured passengers, they added.

Navy Secretary John Dalton awarded Charissis the Navy and Marine Corps Medal during a ceremony at the university April 26. The medal is the Navy's highest for noncombat heroism involving lifesaving or attempted lifesaving.

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