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Two area state troopers receive honors

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RALEIGH - Two area state highway patrol officers received distinctions in a ceremony held Tuesday in Raleigh.

Trooper Matthew C. Eure of Troop A, District 6 in New Bern received the Award of Valor. Trooper Robert O. Melby of Troop A, District 8 in Morehead City received the Meritorious Service Award.

Below is part of the press release on each of the officers honored.

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Meritorious Service Award

Trooper Robert O. Melby

During March of 2017, Trooper R. O. Melby conducted extensive traffic safety programs at the three high schools within Carteret County. Trooper Melby partnered with local school officials to develop an interactive program utilizing the Highway Patrol's Mobile Driving Simulator. The objective was to re-enforce safe driving habits while encouraging participants to make good choices while operating a motor vehicle. The program included simulations and exercises that allowed new drivers to learn to anticipate dangerous situations and develop critical decision-making skills.

Throughout his career, Trooper Melby has developed traffic safety programs which he has presented to high school students in Carteret County. Trooper Melby has taken the initiative to go beyond what is required of his position to ensure Carteret County's youngest and most inexperienced drivers remain safe on the highways.

Award of Valor

Trooper Matthew C. Eure

On Thursday July 13th, Trooper Matthew C. Eure was off-duty with his wife, enjoying a day at the beach in Pine Knoll Shores. They noticed a woman and young girl walking into the surf. The surf was very strong and rip currents were prevalent in that area. Shortly after, Eure noticed the woman and girl had disappeared from view. After scanning the water and not being able to find them, Eure and a civilian entered the water in an attempt to locate the two women. Eure was able to spot the young girl. He swam to her and pulled her back to the beach through the treacherous surf and currents. The assisting civilian located the woman. After pulling the young girl to safety, Eure immediately went back into the water and assisted the civilian in bringing the woman safely to the beach. Eure rendered medical assistance until the the Pine Knoll Shores Fire Department arrived and took over. Both women were transported to Carteret General Hospital for treatment. This area of the beach had been experiencing rough surf, dangerous rip tides and currents. There had already been drowning deaths attributed to these conditions earlier in the week. Eure's awareness of his surroundings and willingness to place his own life at risk to save the lives of others is the only thing that prevented this incident from turning tragic.

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