Leaving the garrison commander's office following a briefing about his capstone project, CDT Zachary Aloma '20 had two choices of how to walk back to central area. He could have walked along the street by Eisenhower Hall and gone through the Beat Navy tunnel before crossing the road near the commandant's house. The other option was to take the historic trail with its "Use at your own risk" sign.
On October 19 Aloma decided to go off the beaten path and take a trail he had never walked in his more than three years at West Point. Looking back at that day, he says it was fate and God that had him take the historic trail that day because as he emerged from the path near the Beat Navy House, he was needed to help save the life of a visitor who had suffered a heart attack.
"That's a trail I normally would never take, but that day I felt like I wanted to take it," Aloma said.
After a day of classes CDT Hudson Durfield '23 was excited to see his family for the first time since Acceptance Day in August. They had arrived in town the night before for Family Weekend and were planning to meet him at Trophy Point after his classes were done for the day. Instead of just meeting them at Trophy Point, Durfield decided to walk and meet them halfway bringing him, much like Aloma, to a spot on post he almost never traveled to.
Aloma and Durfield both arrived near the Beat Navy House a little after 4 p.m. that afternoon soon after a man who was leaving the Catholic Chapel collapsed onto the ground.
"It felt like providence (to be) in the right place at the right time," Durfield said.
Walking toward the meeting point with his family, Durfield saw his mom and one of his brothers coming his way. Something felt off, though. His dad and two other brothers had crossed the street and were looking at something on the ground instead of walking to meet him. Full story.