Air Force Veteran Killed Trying to Defuse Argument at IHOP on Mother’s Day

“It isn’t surprising to read stories about Veterans displaying courage and compassion for perfect strangers.”

A 27-year-old Air Force Veteran was killed at an IHOP in Memphis after he stepped in to save a woman from being assaulted by her ex-boyfriend.  According to reports, Devin Wilson attempted to break up the domestic violence incident between the two strangers.  The ex-boyfriend had apparently been choking the woman, who was an employee of IHOP, when Wilson sprang into action to defend her.  That’s when the ex-boyfriend pulled out a gun and fired at Wilson and a security guard.  The guard was hit in the arm, while Wilson was hit in the head.  He later died at the hospital after his family was faced with the heartbreaking task of removing him from life support.

It isn’t surprising to read stories about Veterans displaying courage and compassion for perfect strangers.  Devin Wilson died a hero, helping a perfect stranger escape violence.  This has been a source of comfort for his family, for whom Mother’s Day will be forever changed.  Veterans of the United States Armed Forces possess strength and courage that make them prime candidates for positions that require those characteristics.  This is why many find working in first responder fields to be an excellent fit.

Devin Wilson was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he served honorably.  While the military undoubtedly instills some of the values, there is still good old-fashioned heroism that doesn’t exist in every single person.  Not many people find themselves wanting to get involved in putting a stop to domestic altercations between strangers.  Most would rather “mind their own business” and stay out of it.  Having the courage to overcome this thinking is one of the attributes that stands out about Devin Wilson.  He had to have known that coming to the rescue of the woman being attacked by her ex-boyfriend would present a certain degree of risk to his own safety.

Domestic violence is a very serious issue in the United States.  Women especially are at risk of abuse at the hands of violent individuals who don’t take no for an answer.  The details of this particular attack remain unknown, and an arrest has yet to be made in the killing of Wilson.  Through the sadness, his family has expressed their pride at the fact that Wilson died trying to save another person.  In a released statement, his mother said,

“He had a big heart, and it was his big heart that unfortunately led him to his death bed.  I wasn’t surprised when they said he was trying to help somebody.  A woman being attacked.” 

Wilson’s mother also spoke about the senseless violence that has taken over communities and how these kind of killings have become the norm.  Hopefully they catch the coward who not only enjoys putting his hands on women, but can’t hold his own when confronted by an unarmed grown man.

Wilson leaves behind a wife and four small children.  My thoughts are with Devin Wilson’s family.

Angelina Newsom

Angelina Newsom is an OpsLens Contributor and U.S. Army Veteran. She has ten years experience in the military, including a deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. She studies Criminal Justice and is still active within the military community.

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