By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ceres sailor, team credited with saving Afghan girl
Adam Neep of Ceres, a Petty Officer 3rd Class who is currently involved in the combat operations in Marjah, Afghanistan, is a hero to a four-year-old girl who was wounded by shrapnel.

The girl, whose name is Azerha, was in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan when she was hit on Feb. 10 by pieces of an improvised explosive device. Her brother took her to what he knew was safe - a group of Marines several miles away - for medical attention. The girl was bleeding from the chest and suffering from a collapsed lung.

Personnel, including Field Hospital Corpsman Neep attached to the Marine Corps 1/3 Weapons Company out of Hawaii, immediately went into action. They put on a dressing but she began having more trouble breathing and determined that she needed to be medevac-ed."

While awaiting a helicopter to whisk her away to a hospital, the corpsmen noticed the girl's vital signs were weakening. They stabilized her by performing a "needle compression" to allow the lung to expand again.

"She took it extremely well for a small child," the 22-year-old Neep told the Hawaii Marine company magazine. "For taking a big needle through her chest, she barely fussed."

The procedure allowed her to breath easier. Her wound was redressed and they wrapped her in blankets to remain warm until the helicopter arrived.

Neep talked to her through an interpreter to keep her awake and alert to help ward off shock. A second compression was required just prior to the chopper touching down as her condition worsened again. The corpsmen rushed her aboard and she was flown to a hospital where she was treated.

"I'm glad we were here to save her life," said Neep. "If she didn't get the proper medical attention, she would have died. It's that simple."

Neep said when he saw the girl's brother with his sister's blood spattered on his clothing, his thoughts turned to his 12-year-old sister, Rebecca Bevins. She is the daughter of his mother, Carol Bevins and stepfather Jim Bevins of Pope Valley.

Adam lived with his father, Al Neep, and step-mother Tonya Neep in Ceres and graduated from Central Valley Christian Academy in Ceres in 2006. He was a Ceres Fire Department Fire Explorer until he went into the Navy in July 2006. He was deployed to the Kuwait/Iraq border prior to this deployment in Afghanistan.

"All four of us have been very involved in Adam's upbringing," said Al Neep, a former Ceres police officer. "Obviously all four of us are very proud parents, as we all raised Adam with a service to God and service to others attitude. We are proud that he is serving his country and using his talents to help others."

The Neeps spent three years as Christian missionaries in India and Thailand before returning to Ceres last August.