NORFOLK, Va. – A Sailor assigned to Airborne Command & Control Squadron (VAW) 120 was at the right place and the right time to save a three-month-old infant in Norfolk, Feb. 3.
Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Devyn Drake, who has been in the Navy since 2017, left the night-shift assignment at her Norfolk-based squadron in the early morning hours on Feb. 3 and returned to the apartment complex she shares with her husband and five-month-old child.
“On my way home, I pulled into my apartment complex and decided to check my mail,” said Drake, who noticed something outside of her apartment along the way that did not look quite right. “I was in shock to see the baby outside in the cold, I didn’t know what to think.”
Quick-acting, Drake brought the infant into her home. “She was the sweetest baby,” said Drake, who was thankful that she was reunited with her family. “I would pray to God that someone would do the same for my child, if in a similar situation, as I had done for this sweet baby.”
After the baby was safe in Drake’s apartment, the young petty officer contacted law enforcement to report finding an abandoned infant. Drake had found the infant at 6:50 a.m. on Feb. 3, just about 20 minutes earlier the infant’s mother had reported her vehicle stolen from a Chesapeake convenience store.
During the eventful morning, Drake had not looked at the Amber Alert, which was released around 8:00 a.m. on the same day. When she had time to read over the alert, she realized that she played a significant role in saving this infant’s life and ensured that law enforcement knew.
“Fantastic work by LS3 to identify the baby and promptly call authorities, it is a sad case, but ended on a good note thanks to the timely intervention of an awesome Sailor,” said Capt. Chris Hulitt, deputy commander, Airborne Command & Control and Logistics Wing.
Interviewed by Chesapeake law enforcement, Drake said one of the detectives handling the case referred to her as a “true hero”.
“It was the right thing to do,” said Drake, who believed that divine intervention was involved to place her at the time to play a role in helping the infant. “My mom is very proud and thankful that the Lord intervened.”
Cmdr. Aaron Rybar, who has served as the commanding officer of VAW-120 since February 2020, appreciated Drake’s involvement and her caring spirit.
“We are extremely proud of LS3’s swift response assisting a family in a difficult situation. Her actions absolutely personify the Navy’s Core Values and we are grateful that this story has such a positive ending with a family being reunited,” said Rybar.
VAW-120 is the training site for all E-2 and C-2A pilots, naval flight officers, and naval aircrewmen. The squadron can also be tasked operationally in support of defense and disaster operations.