Why I love Toys for Tots


It is always easy to write stories about heroes because there are so many of them in the military. But sometimes the heroes appear where you least expect them – like outside a Best Buy at a Toys for Tots stand.

According to the Augusta Chronicle, on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and one of the busiest shopping days of the year, a man tried to shoplift a laptop by stuffing it down his pants (or in his jacket, depending on which news account you read) at an Augusta Best Buy. An alert employee saw him and confronted him. The Sales Manager told the Chronicle, “He was really irate. A whole lot of energy. … he finally let go of the laptop, ran out the front door, knocked one of my employees down and pulled out a knife so he could make sure he could get out the front door.”

He had not factored Marines into the equation.

Outside the store, four Marines and some volunteers were manning the Toys for Tots booth and saw what was happening. As the suspect ran out the door, Cpl. Phillip Duggan “clotheslined him.” He got up and managed to stab Cpl. Duggan in the back before the rest of the Marines tackled him for good. They held the shoplifter down until the police arrived.

The suspect went to jail, and Cpl. Duggan went to the hospital for some stitches – the wound was not life-threatening. He went home later that day; the suspect did not.

Highlighting the incident in its “Occupation: Man” series, True Crime Report said, “But you didn’t really think a single stab wound could keep a guy this manly down, did you? He’s already been released from the hospital and is recovering at home, because you can’t really hurt a guy who’s made of tempered steel.”

Cpl. Phillip Duggan is our hero of the week.


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