News: Marines with 2nd Tanks receive Purple Heart Awards
Story by Cpl. Austin Long
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Five Marines with Bravo Company, 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, were awarded the Purple Heart Medal for injuries sustained while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, by Brig. Gen. James Lukeman, the commanding general, 2nd Marine Division, March 6. Among the five Marine were two officers and three enlisted.
First Lt. Jim Nash, the 2nd platoon commander, from Enterprise, Ore., was awarded two Purple Heart Medals. The first injury came from an 82 millimeter mortar while conducting dismounted operations on Aug. 6, 2013. The second Purple Heart Medal came from an improvised explosive device set off after a tank adjacent to him triggered the detonator. Nash sustained injuries from the blast while exposed above the turret of the vehicle.
Also receiving the award was 1st Lt. Andrew Yeary, the 1st platoon commander from Wilmington, Ohio. While establishing a blockade in a village three kilometers from a raid, Yeary’s crew discovered a weapon cache. While trying to move British Special Forces to the cache site,his tank was hit by an IED set off by the enemy. The blast rendered Yeary unconscious and destroyed his tank. The gunner on his tank was also injured.
“I’m upset that I allowed my tank to be destroyed,” said Yeary. “But I’m fortunate that I’m still alive and here to receive this award.”
During a routine patrol, a convoy from Bravo Company, 2nd Tank Battalion began taking small arms fire. A truck with the convoy hit a roadside bomb, immobilizing the vehicle. Despite injury, the three Marines on the truck swiftly reacted.
The vehicle commander, Lance Cpl. Joel Dacstro from San Diego, Calif., instantly got on the radio to report the attack and the status of the Marines and the condition of his vehicle. After, he began talking with other vehicle commanders about the best solution for moving his Marines and himself out of harm’s way. Dacstro received a Purple Heart Medal for his injuries from the attack.
Cpl. Kenneth Conner, a motor transport operator from Halifax, Va., checked immediately on the truck’s gunner, Lance Cpl. Ian Henderson. Conner wanted to make sure Henderson was still conscious and in the turret. Conner received the Purple Heart Medal for injuries sustained during the attack.
Lance Cpl. Ian Henderson, a tank mechanic from Lapeer, Mich., was in the turret during the explosion. The blast had a dizzying result for Henderson, but he was not seriously wounded. Henderson received the Purple Heart Medal for his injuries.
After the explosion, the three Marines climbed on top of the commanding officer’s tank to leave the area when another roadside bomb exploded. The tank was able to withstand the blast and the three Marines were able to be evacuated.
The Marines don’t think of themselves any differently after receiving the award. After treatment some of the Marines were able to return to the forward operating base. Others stayed at Camp Leatherneck, but held jobs at the base that still supported their company outside the wire.
“Right now I’m very honored and very humbled to be in a formation that is honoring the Marines who put their life on the line for their company and country,” said 1st Sgt. Demond Washington, the company first sergeant. “We are a family, a true brotherhood. I would stay in another 30 years if I would have another company like Bravo.”
Date Posted:03.11.2013 14:12
Location:CAMP LEJEUNE, NC, US
Hometown:ENTERPRISE, OR, US
Hometown:HALIFAX, VA, US
Hometown:LAPEER, MI, US
Hometown:SAN DIEGO, CA, US
Hometown:WILMINGTON, OH, US