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February 07, 2005

The burden of duty.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I say to you, 1SGT Brad Kasal, United States Marine Corps.

Marine 1st Sergeant Brad Kasal (in the middle). This photo is from the most recent major offensive in Fallujah. 1stSgt Kasal sacrificed his own safety to save a room full of fellow Marines. He ended up taking several AK rounds in the leg. Most of his lower leg was blown away but you can't tell it from this pic. He took rounds in the back which his armor saved him from. He took one round through his butt which passed through both cheeks leaving 4 holes in him. And he also took the brunt of a grenade blast. He jumped on top of a younger Marine to cover him from the fire. He killed the enemy who did most of the damage to him and his men, and despite a massive loss of blood he never stopped fighting. Notice that he's still holding his pistol. He has been put in for the Medal of Honor for his actions on that day. He already has several Purple Hearts for previous battles throughout his career and he has turned some down so that he could stay with his unit.

Now that is taking care of your troops. Semper Fi, Top!

Hat tip: Boudicca! I'll resist the comparison that Boudicca made about Purple Hearts and Leaders.

And the story of this young Marine reminds me of my father, with his seven Purple Hearts.

ASKAN, Iraq (AP) -- The first time Lance Cpl. Tony Stevens was bombed in Iraq, a car packed with 155 mm shells exploded next to his Humvee just as a device containing five more shells detonated beneath it.

By bomb No. 9, the former baseball minor league shortstop had become a good luck-bad luck icon and the awe of his 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment patrolling the so-called "triangle of death" south of Baghdad.

The whole story is available here. Obviously, the Grandsons and Great-grandsons of the Old Breed still have the metal and the mettle.

Hat tip: Ghost of a Flea!