News: Marine posthumously awarded Bronze Star for valor
Story by Lance Cpl. Jerrick J. Griffin
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Gunnery Sgt. Floyd Holley a Marine with 1st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group was postumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with combat distinguishing device during a ceremony here, Feb. 11.
The medal was accepted by his wife, Christen Holley, from San Jose, Calif.
According to the award citation, during Operation Roadhouse II, Holley, 36, from Casselberry, Fla., led his team in a night assault to seize high ground west of Safar Bazaar. It was known to be a key to the enemy’s defensive plan for Safar Bazaar. When they entered the area he immediately led his team into action without hesitation or regard for his own safety and began to clear the area of IED’s. Following the route he courageously cleared, 1st Platoon was able to seize the area. For days without the chance of reinforcement, he searched, found and disposed of numerous explosives in the surrounding area, often in the face of enemy small arms fire. On Aug. 29, 2010, while disarming an IED under enemy small arms fire, Holley was mortally wounded by a premature detonation.
Four other EOD Marines were also honored during the ceremony.
Staff Sgt. Joshua J. Cullins was posthumously awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. It was accepted by his father James Cullins.
“I feel honored to accept this award for Joshua,” said James, from Simi Valley, Calif. “I’ve been around these Marines a few years now, and I can say he loved his job and every Marine he worked with here.”
Staff Sgt. Cullins, 28, also from Simi Valley, Calif., also gave the ultimate sacrifice Oct. 19, 2010 while serving in Helmand province, Afghanistan, with 1st EOD Company, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward). When he wasn’t serving his country with the Marine Corps, he was serving his community as a police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department.
Gunnery Sgt. Brendan McInerey, from New York, Staff Sgt. Eric Olson, from Goldendale, Washington and Staff Sgt. Robert Perez, from Phoenix each were awarded Purple Heart Medals for wounds suffered while conducting combat operations with 1st EOD Company in Helmand province.
“It just goes to show you what these Marines go through and how dedicated they are to their job,” said Capt. James Shelstad, company commander of 1st EOD Company, 7th ESB, CLR-1, 1st MLG. “Each one of them wanted to stay and continue helping their fellow Marines,” said Shelstad, 42, Canby, Ore.