Hero of Boston Marathon mayhem knows the pain of loss after South Florida torching

April 16, 2013 

One of the heroes of the Boston Marathon tragedy is the man wearing the cowboy hat and tending to the gravely injured.

His name is Carlos Arredondo, who has seen pain himself.

Arredondo, devastated by the death of his son, a Marine in Iraq, torched a van with a can of gasoline in 2004 just after getting the sad news from a military team who visited his Hollywood home. He suffered second-degree burns.

He recovered and became a peace activist and grieved publicly over the loss of his son, displaying makeshift memorials.

“As long as there are Marines fighting and dying in Iraq, I’m going to share my mourning with the American people,” he told The new York Times six years ago.

The tragic pain continued.

In 2007, he was beaten up at a rally. And two years ago, he lost a second son to suicide.

But through tragedy has come heroism. In one of the most iconic photos to come out of the Boston chaos, Arredondo is seen in a hat, tending to a man whose leg was blown off in the blast. He helped wheel the man get medical attention.

"I kept talking to him. I kept saying, ’Stay with me, stay with me,’ " Arredondo told The Portland Press Herald.

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