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Remembering Saman Gunan, diver who gave his life to save Thai boys trapped in cave

SAMAN GUNAN

Panumas SANGUANWONG / THAI NEWS PIX / AFP

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 07/26/18

Former Thai Navy SEAL made the ultimate sacrifice in volunteer mission to rescue soccer team.

The video above tells the story of Petty Officer Saman Gunan, a former member of the special forces of the Thai Marines, who came out of retirement to help rescue the Thai boys’ soccer team trapped in the Tham Luang cave complex — and gave his own life in the effort. Gunan (also spelled Kunan) was on his way back from carrying oxygen tanks into the cave when he lost consciousness. He had joined the mission as a volunteer.

Witnesses say his last words were, “We will bring the boys home.”

Gunan’s widow, Waleeporn Gunan, shared that his life was one of service and charity. He was dedicated to helping others and tried to live each day with purpose.

“Saman once said we never knew when we would die, we can’t control that, so we need to cherish every day,” she said.

After 17 days in the cave, the 12 boys and their young coach have all returned to their families. They are mourning Gunan, and the Thai Royal Navy honored him with a special tribute.

Gunan’s widow said of him, “You are the hero in my heart. You always were and always will be.”

Now the world joins with her in recognizing his valor and honoring his legacy of sacrifice.

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