Showing posts with label heroic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label heroic. Show all posts

Monday, May 11, 2020

Wisconsin OEF-OIF veteran shot and killed trying to protect sister

Male shooting victim was decorated Army vet, family says, only trying to help sister out of 'very bad situation'

Rome Sentinel
Sean I. Mills
May 11, 2020
Family said the male victim was a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Army, who served two tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. They said he came home with a Purple Heart. Family said he is survived by six children.

The man who was shot and killed on Whittier Avenue Saturday night was a decorated Army veteran and father of six who had come to Rome to help his sister out of a "very bad situation," according to the victim's family and others close to the family.

The woman was also shot during the incident and remains hospitalized, according to police. The gunman is believed to have then turned his 12-gauge shotgun on himself.

Rome Police have not yet released the names of those involved in the incident at 107 Whittier Ave. The investigation is ongoing and police officials said they will release more information when it is available.

A sister of the two victims recently spoke to the Daily Sentinel and said her brother and her nephew traveled to Rome from Wisconsin to help the woman.

"My brother traveled here to help my sister in a very bad situation," the sister said.

"The fact of the matter is, she didn't come to file the police report and try to get the order of protection for no reason."
read it here

Monday, March 9, 2020

Women in Military Service for America Memorial

3 remarkable women warriors to honor

Connecting Vets
MARCH 09, 2020

        Rear Admiral Grace Hooper--- Corporal Jessica Ellis---Brigadier General Hazel Johnson-Brown
Women veterans are the fastest-growing segment of the veteran population and have been serving in the Armed Forces since the Civil War. This is why we think it's only right to recognize a few of the women who dedicated their lives to serving their country, some of them making the ultimate sacrifice.
Here are three notable women buried in Arlington Cemetery and whose information is stored in the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.
read it here

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Disabled veteran thanks neighbor for saving his life after apartment caught on fire

‘Thank God for him’: NC veteran thanks man for saving his life after apartment catches on fire
News Staff
January 19, 2020

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A North Carolina veteran was able to thank his neighbor for the first time since he saved his life and got him out of his burning apartment last month.
Our news partner WLOS was there as Tony reunited with his neighbor, Douglas Tribble. Tony’s apartment caught fire last month -- the damage was so bad, the walls were charred black.

Tony said he would not have made it out alive if Tribble had not come for him.

“I would have stayed there not realizing the smoke that I was gathering,” Tony said.

Tony does not get around very well -- he has to use a walker. Tribble said that made the rescue even more of a race against time.
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Saturday, September 28, 2019

Miracles happen Oklahoma veteran died saving granddaughter

“He was all about that baby and she was all about him,” Grandfather dies after saving 3-year-old granddaughter from house explosion

KFOR 4 News
Kelsey Hill
September 24, 2019

“Just thought about the steep grade of that driveway and just knew and kind of came to the conclusions that they were carried up that driveway you know. It wasn`t him, it wasn`t her something carried them up that driveway." Brendon Osteen

MAUD, Okla. - A grandfather rescued his 3-year-old granddaughter after the home they were in exploded.

Don Osteen was a longtime educator, Army Veteran, and Purple Heart recipient. He spent his life putting others first and would help anyone if they needed it, even a stranger.

Brendon Osteen says his father looked forward to every minute that he could spend with his granddaughter, Paetyn.

"That`s what he was first and foremost I mean he was all about that baby and she was all about him,” said Osteen.

He said his father was 15 to 30 feet away from the front door, lighting a candle next to the stove when the explosion happened.

“He wasn`t worried about himself at all. I'll leave it at that, but save her was the message he was trying to get across and he did exactly that,” said Osteen.
v Osteen suffered a collapsed lung, broken ribs, and severe burns, but he was able to carry Paetyn to safety, even navigating the family’s steep driveway to get help.

“He just got out of the house and headed straight to where he knew help was. He tried to get in his truck and his keys were melted to him. His phone was exploded in his pocket," he said.
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Friday, September 20, 2019

Bodycam captured moment police officer saved man who jumped off bridge

Dramatic body camera video shows officers catch man who jumped off bridge

Emily Van de Riet, Digital Content Producer
Sep 18, 2019

(Meredith) – Newly-released body camera video shows officers in Tennessee clinging onto a man who jumped off a bridge.

The officers who saved the man in April are now being recognized for their quick actions.

Knox County Deputy Brian Rehg and Knoxville Police Lieutenant Chris McCarter both said they were at the right place at the right time.

Rehg, a 13-year police veteran, said he is used to being called to a scene after something tragic has already happened, but he’s not used to a situation where he saves someone from jumping.

“After 13 years of service and seeing all kinds of things, to actually save somebody like that… it feels good,” Rehg told WATE.
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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Heroic disabled veteran saved nurse from attack right after operation...then got back into bed

Disabled veteran helps nurse with confrontational patient

Your Sun
Community News Editor
Aug 27, 2019

ENGLEWOOD — A disabled veteran was deemed a hero after he helped tackle a man allegedly trying to harm a nurse.

Bill Tracy smiles recently with Englewood Community Hospital nurse Angie Bonakoske. Tracy received flowers and thank yous from nurses after he helped restrain a confrontational patient at the hospital. PHOTO PROVIDED

After undergoing a five-hour operation to save his right leg, 64-year-old Bill Tracy was recovering last week at Englewood Community Hospital when he heard a nurse screaming.

“I was on bed rest and attached to an IV and have two stents, but heard a ruckus going on near my room, I got up and went toward the nurse who was screaming,” said Tracy, a retired Army Paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne.

“It looked like this man was coming off of some kind of drugs. I came up behind him. I didn’t know he hit her. I helped pin him down until Tess (the nurse) could call the head nurse Cindy and security came too. Tess wasn’t hurt, just shaken up a bit.”
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Monday, July 22, 2019

Jessie Thurston remembered for saving lives in National Guard

Veteran found dead at Natchez Trace remembered 'as the hero he was'

Jackson Sun
Cassandra Stephenson
July 18, 2019
"Jessie dismounted the vehicle and proceeded to stand in the burning fuel to drag these guys out, and he did it," Kenney said. As rounds exploded around him in the heat of the fire, Jessie "refused to stop." He saved three lives that day.
The remains of the vehicle veteran Jessie Thurston pulled three fellow servicemen from after an artillery shell struck the truck in Iraq rest on the sand on May 23, 2007. (Photo: Courtesy of Jason Kenney)
Jessie Thurston was many things: a "spitfire," a 10-year National Guard veteran, a loving father and friend, and by many accounts, a hero.
A search party recovered his body from Natchez Trace State Park the morning of July 4. (Photo: Submitted) 
Veteran Jessie Thurston was remembered by friends and family at the Tennessee State Veteran's Cemetery at Parkers Crossroads on July 12, 2019. 

He loved Harley Davidson motorcycles and turkey hunting and was always looking to lift someone's spirits.

"If you didn't laugh around him, something was wrong with you," his cousin Jeremy Thurston said.

But Jessie also struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder after he returned from a tour in Iraq in 2011. Jeremy said Jessie's inner battles with mental health started before he joined the military, but the traumas he experienced overseas only exacerbated the pains of his already difficult life.

After he returned from service, Jessie was known to "go ghost every now and then," Jeremy said. He went missing in late June after deleting his social media accounts. Police found his dog uncared for in his Lexington home.

Nearly a week later, his fellow servicemen found his body during a search effort in Natchez Trace State Park on July 4. He was 35. A pending autopsy has yet to determine cause of death.
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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Saved from suicide atop Bethlehem’s Steel Stacks

21 hours as a crisis negotiator atop Bethlehem’s Steel Stacks
By Sara K. Satullo
July 21, 2019
Through it all, they just kept talking to 25-year-old Jonathan David Wallace, letting him know they were ready when he wanted to talk or come down. Authorities have said they believe Wallace was suicidal.

Kurt Bresswein | For

Over nearly 22 hours last weekend, the Bethlehem police crisis negotiation team’s delicate work played out hundreds of feet in the air above the city as negotiators tried to convince a 25-year-old man to come down from a beam atop the iconic and deteriorating former Steel blast furnaces.
As Wallace paced atop the SteelStacks shouting unintelligibly, police used a drone to capture a photo of the Berks County man and harnessed the power of social media to identify him by posting the photo to the department’s official Facebook page.

With the help of the Allentown police negotiation team, they worked in two-hour shifts, first through the dark of night on an unsafe structure and into Saturday’s unrelenting summer sun as temperatures climbed to 86 degrees and the rusting stacks became broiling hot.
Kott found herself several hours away at a family wedding as the situation unfolded in Bethlehem, assisting the team remotely as they tried to identify the climber, while Detective Moses Miller, the assistant team leader, took charge of the scene. (Kott declined to get into certain specifics about Wallace’s situation due to the pending criminal case.)

Wallace was taken to St. Luke’s hospital on an involuntary mental health commitment. He was arraigned on Thursday on a felony count of risking catastrophe and related charges and jailed after he could not post bail.
read it here

Monday, July 15, 2019

Maryland Air National Guard soldier stopped attack

Off-duty Air National Guard member kills armed man at Maryland restaurant

By: The Associated Press
July 12, 2019

MILLFORD MILL, Md. — Authorities in Baltimore County say an off-duty member of the Maryland Air National Guard shot and killed an armed man while reportedly breaking up a fight outside a restaurant.

Baltimore County Police say the shooting happened early Friday after the airman saw people arguing outside the restaurant in Windsor Mill.

Authorities initially identified the airman as an off-duty officer. They say he has a gun permit.
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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Stunning Coast Guard crew video shows them in action stopping narco sub

Dramatic video shows Coast Guard leaping onto submarine carrying 17,000 pounds of cocaine

NBC News
By Doha Madani
July 11, 2019
Crew members can be seen jumping onto a moving narco-sub and busting open the hatch in the USCG video.

The U.S. Coast Guard released video Thursday of service members leaping onto a submarine carrying 17,000 pounds of cocaine as part of a months long, $569 million cocaine bust.

A member of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro can be seen in the video yelling at an unidentified aquatic vehicle to stop as it moved alongside the cutter at the surface of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Crew members then jump onto the top of the mostly submerged vessel as it's moving and bust open the hatch.

A person inside the vessel can be seen briefly just as the hatch opens at the end of the minute long video.

About 17,000 pounds of cocaine were found inside along with five suspected smugglers, the U.S. Coast Guard told NBC News on Thursday. The estimated street value of the drugs is $232 million.

Self-propelled submersible vessels, often called “narco-subs,” are sometimes used by cartels and traffickers to smuggle drugs across borders.

The operation, which occurred June 18, was one of 14 drug-smuggling vessels intercepted off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America by three Coast Guard cutters between May and July of this year. A total of 39,000 pounds of cocaine and 933 pounds of marijuana, were seized in that time, for an estimated worth of $569 million, according to a press release Thursday.
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Friday, July 12, 2019

Disabled veteran, who was not D.B. Cooper, passed away

He died claiming to be a disabled veteran. But many believe he was hijacker D.B. Cooper.

The Washington Post
By Morgan Krakow
July 11, 2019
Rackstraw, a former Army helicopter pilot who had been awarded a Silver Star for valor, didn’t surface as a suspect until the late 1970s, according to news reports. He’d been arrested on charges of murdering his stepfather, but was acquitted in a trial in 1978.

A man who some believed to be the elusive D.B. Cooper died Tuesday in Southern California.

Robert Rackstraw, who was featured in a 2016 History Channel documentary about the notorious criminal, was pronounced dead at home in the early hours of July 9, according to the San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office. He died of a “long-standing heart condition,” according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Cooper, known for the hijacking of a flight bound for Seattle from Portland, Ore., is thought to have leaped from the plane with $200,000 in cash. Authorities tracked down hundreds of potential suspects but were never able to find Cooper or his body.

The hijacking, the longest unsolved crime of its kind in FBI history, has baffled official and unofficial investigators for decades. Though the FBI closed the case in 2016, theories about the identity of Cooper have continued to swirl.
read more here

Disabled veteran attacked by man with knife


By FOX 13 News staff
Posted Jul 11 2019

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (FOX 30/FOX 13) - Jacksonville police shot and killed a man holding a disabled Army veteran in a wheelchair at knifepoint, they said.
The officer-involved shooting occurred on State Street near the Ritz Theatre around 11:20 p.m. Wednesday, reports FOX 30. Police initially responded out to an “armed aggravated assault” report.

When law enforcement officers arrived, they found a man holding a knife to the victim’s neck. Officers said he refused to drop the knife even after they gave a verbal command, according to FOX 30.

The officer feared for the victim’s life and fatally shot the suspect, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. They said the officer was wearing a body camera.

The man in the wheelchair, who did not want to be identified, told FOX 30 he is an Army veteran who calls Jacksonville his home. He explained that he met the suspect this week and the man appeared to be nice and quiet. However, on Wednesday, the victim said the suspect was acting belligerent while holding the knife and threatening to harm people.
read it here

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Fireworks started fire, Colorado woman rescued from house by strangers

Good Samaritans rescue woman from fireworks-sparked fire in Montbello

Denver Channel
By: Jaclyn Allen
Jul 05, 2019

DENVER – Denver Fire is investigating a fire in a Montbello home that was reportedly sparked by fireworks Wednesday night.

Dramatic dash cam and cell phone video captured the moment a bush caught fire, spreading to a car and a house on Atchison Way.
William Birkett was shooting the video after he saw the firework shoot into the bush, and pulled over to help.

"I tried my best to put it out with the water bottles that I had in my car. The neighbor was using his garden hose," said Birkett, who said the fire quickly grew out of control, and that’s when they heard a woman screaming. “Myself and two other men, we just started running towards the house. And the two men pulled her out while I held back the bushes and I ran back inside to make sure no one was inside.”
read more here

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Retired Green Beret received Distinguished Service Cross for heroism in Afghanistan

Green Beret received valor award upgrade for 2005 firefight

Military Times
By: Kyle Rempfer
June 21, 2019

Retired Master Sgt. Larry Hawks was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on June 21 for his actions in Afghanistan back in 2005.
The ceremony took place at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School auditorium on Fort Bragg, North Carolina, according to an Army news release.

Hawks received the DSC — the second highest military decoration awarded to a U.S. soldier — for gallantry under fire as a member of 3rd Special Forces Group on July 24 and July 25, 2005, in Afghanistan.

“Sgt. 1st Class Hawks, while conducting armed reconnaissance of a town, came under intense enemy small arms, rocket propelled grenade, and mortar fire," the citation reads, according to the Army release. “While moving to interdict enemy combatants attempting to reposition themselves on the high ground west of the village, he discovered one of his comrades was pinned down by enemy fire.”

"Sgt. 1st Class Hawks, without regard for his own safety dismounted from his vehicle and charged toward the enemy position on the high ground. Under continuous fire, he engaged and neutralized the enemy position.”

His actions led to 15 confirmed enemy killed in action, the capture of 14 insurgents, and the recovery of over 30 light and heavy weapons, according to his older Silver Star citation.
read more here

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

MOH Staff Sgt. David Bellavia

David Bellavia receives the Medal of Honor for his actions in a ‘house of nightmares’

Published: June 25, 2019

WASHINGTON — Pinned down inside a pitch-black, insurgent-filled house in the early days of the second battle of Fallujah, Staff Sgt. David Bellavia grabbed a heavy M249 automatic machine gun from another soldier and charged forward into oncoming fire from enemy fighters hunkered down in a stairwell.

The enemy fighters froze, ducking away from Bellavia’s fire just long enough for his squad to escape the building and regroup outside. Moments later, with his fellow soldiers outside, the infantryman from Buffalo, N.Y, burst back into the building — eventually killing four insurgents and gravely wounding another.

Nearly 15 years later, Bellavia stood stoically Tuesday as President Donald Trump placed the Medal of Honor around his neck for his actions that night — Nov. 10, 2004, his 29th birthday. The former infantryman who left the Army in 2005 never cracked a smile during the White House ceremony, sharing only telling nods with more than a dozen of the men with whom he served. Along with his family, the men joined him on the East Room stage and a packed audience roared and applauded.

Many of those men would not have made it to the White House on Tuesday if it were not for Bellavia and his “exceptional courage to protect his men and defend our nation,” against an enemy “that would have killed them all had it not been for David,” Trump said.
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From the White House

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Iraq Veteran David Bellavia to receive Medal of Honor

update:Medal of Honor recipient calls military honor life-changing

Associated Press
June 11, 2019

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. — Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia won’t officially receive his Medal of Honor from President Donald Trump for another two weeks but already, he says, everything’s changed.
The radio talk show host and one-time Republican congressional candidate says his focus now isn't his own opinions but the fellow Iraq veterans he represents, as well as families of soldiers who've lost their lives.

15 years after Fallujah, Bellavia destined for Medal of Honor and White House ceremony

Buffalo News
By Robert J. McCarthy
Published June 8, 2019

David Bellavia will travel from his Albion home to the White House sometime late this month, where President Trump is scheduled to drape around the Army veteran’s neck a gold medallion suspended by a blue ribbon — the Medal of Honor.
David Bellavia ran for Congress in 2012. (John Hickey/News file photo)

But his journey really began on Nov. 10, 2004, in the dusty streets of Fallujah, Iraq. That’s where the Army staff sergeant, on his 29th birthday, found himself in deadly hand-to-hand combat with some of the enemy’s toughest fighters.

In the end, five of them died. He prevailed.

Now a nation will say thank you.

Veterans’ advocate, author, former congressional candidate and current talk radio co-host, Bellavia will become the 3,469th American awarded the nation’s highest military decoration — and the first living recipient from the War in Iraq.
read more here
Iraq Veteran David Bellavia Honors Vietnam Veterans

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Days after becoming 1st LT, tragic loss for Camp Pendleton couple

After military vehicle accident kills Marine from Maryland, love story turns into tragedy

Associated Press
June 2, 2019

But on Thursday, May 9, no message came. Kathleen grew more nervous as the hours rolled by. She used an app to check his location, and it kept showing that his phone was in an office. By 2:30 a.m. the next morning, the phone's location had not changed.

This Aug. 18, 2018, photo provided by Kathleen Bourque shows Conor McDowell and Kathleen Bourque. The couple's love story ended in tragedy when the military vehicle McDowell was riding in flipped over and killed him in May 2019. (Kathleen Bourque via AP)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — One day in March 2018, a profile on the dating app Hinge caught Kathleen Bourque's eye. The photo showed Conor McDowell, a tall, bright-eyed Citadel cadet in uniform. He was at a ring ceremony, his mother by his side.

Kathleen, then 21, was moved to send Conor a message: "This is honestly such a beautiful photo."

It was three months before she heard back from him.

"He said, 'I'm so sorry, I just finished the infantry officer course for the Marine Corps,' " Kathleen recalled. "He said his friend had set up his (Hinge) profile for him and he was still figuring out how it worked."

The two of them texted back and forth for hours that night, conversing about their shared Irish heritage and a common passion: the need for better mental health care in the military.

The next night, they had their first phone conversation. Conor, a former Chestertown resident, was visiting a friend in Rhode Island. Kathleen had just graduated from Loyola University in Baltimore, where she had studied mental health in the military, and she was living with her parents in Salisbury.

From 10:30 p.m. until 6 a.m., they talked about their childhoods, their families, their dreams. Night after night, the marathon phone conversations went on like that.

"He was just so genuine, you felt you could open up to him about anything and everything," Kathleen said.
On Tuesday, she got a call from Conor, who had just gotten good news at Camp Pendleton: He'd been promoted to first lieutenant. But he didn't want to put on his new pin yet. He wanted to wait until he was back home with Kathleen so that she could do it.

"I only have a couple of seconds to talk," she recalled him telling her. "But I want to tell you how much I love you. How much I miss you."
read more here

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Triple Bronze Star Attachment for Vietnam veteran finally!

Vietnam vet receives overdue Bronze Star

Lancaster Eagle-Gazette
Nicholas Boone
May 7, 2019

Crissinger, whose highest rank was Corporal, had three different incidents in Vietnam, which is why he had the Triple Bronze Star Attachment on the Vietnam Service Medal.
LANCASTER - Tom Crissinger said he "just did his job" when serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
Malachi Draper, 3, points to his grandfather Tom Crissinger's Expert Pistol and Rifle badge after U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers asked Malachi which one he liked best Tuesday morning, May 7, 2019, in Lancaster. Stivers presented Crissinger with seven medals the Lancaster resident and Vietnam Veteran earned during his three years of services in Vietnam with the U.S. Army. Among the awards was a Bronze Star medal with a valor device. (Photo: Matthew Berry/Eagle-Gazette)

On Tuesday, the veteran was awarded a long overdue honor when U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers presented him with the Bronze Star.

Crissinger, of Lancaster, was a radio operator in Vietnam from 1969 to 1971. He joined the army when he was 17 years old and said he was out by the time he was 19.

As a radio operator, Crissinger admitted he was a "human target."

“He was next to the commander the whole time,” Stivers said. “The Viet Cong would look for the radio antenna and shoot at it, so they were (one of the biggest targets in the war).”

Getting Crissinger the accolades he deserves has been a journey in and of itself.

Brittany Stiverson, military case worker for Steve Stivers’ office, spent five months tracking down Crissinger’s DD214, which is a veteran’s military form that shows their service history.
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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Heroic teen at Colorado school had already joined Marine Corps

Colorado STEM school student Brendan Bialy helped disarm gunman

NBC News
By Patrick Smith and Hayley Walker
May 8, 2019

A high school senior who plans to become a Marine after graduation was among the students who tackled a gunman in a Colorado school on Tuesday.

Brendan Bialy attends the STEM School Highlands Ranch, which is not far from the site of the Columbine High School shooting 20 years ago.

Brendan Bialy, who is enrolled in the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program, helped subdue a shooter at the STEM School in Colorado.
Bialy's father, Brad, confirmed to NBC News that the teenager and other classmates tackled and disarmed one of the two shooters.
read more here

UPDATE: And the hero who did not survive

"This wasn't your average kid. He was extraordinary": Dad of school shooting hero remembers his son 
CBS News
MAY 9, 2019 

John and Maria Castillo are still trying to process the fact that their son, Kendrick, is gone.
"I'm sad, I'm mad. I have all these emotions. I feel like my life is blank as of yesterday," said John, speaking with reporters from the family home in Denver. CBS Denver was there
read more of his story here

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Sgt. Maj. Troy Black wasn't going to leave one of his Marines behind

Next Marine Sergeant Major Ran Across IED-Filled Ground to Reach Fallen Comrade
By Gina Harkins
25 Apr 2019
"Sergeant Major Black distinguished himself through his exceptional leadership, operational input, and devotion to duty," according to the citation. "Both on the battlefield under fire and on the firm bases, he courageously set the example."

Sgt. Maj. Troy Black wasn't going to leave one of his Marines behind.

U.S. Marine Sgt. Maj Troy E. Black addresses Marines, Sailors and guests during the 1st MLG Relief and Appointment Ceremony aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., April 7, 2017. (U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Zabolotniy, Camp Pendleton)

When he deployed as sergeant major of 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, in 2010, Black went out on more than 50 missions, covering 10,000 miles of terrain filled with improvised explosive devices. When one of those IEDs detonated, killing a Marine, Black ran several hundred yards through unswept territory to reach him.

His actions earned him a Bronze Star with Combat "V" Device. Now, he will become the 19th sergeant major of the Marine Corps.

"[Black's] boldness under fire continually imbued his Marines with confidence and a steady resolve," his Bronze Star citation states. "He consistently demonstrated a sincere dedication to his Marines and Sailors, and inspired them to overcome incredible challenges to accomplish their mission."

That set the example for more than 1,100 troops during that deployment from April to September 2010. The Marines, sailors and soldiers he helped lead were spread across three provinces and partnered with two Afghan battalions.
read more here