Sep 24, 2010

Sergeant David Fresenius, an assistant team leader with 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, stands with Petty Officer 2nd Class Dan Brown, 3rd Plt. Corpsmen (left), and Cpl. Greg Harris, 3rd Plt. Radio operator, in front of the 1st Marine Division (Forward) Memorial monument at Camp leatherneck, Afghanistan, Sept. 24. Fresenius, a 23-year-old from Westminster, Calif., was hit in the top of his back’s protective Sapi plate during a small arms fire engagement in Trek Nawa, on June 21, 2010. The round lodged in his protective gear, just millimeters away from breaking skin and hitting his upper spine. Seeing his assistant team leader hit, Harris, from Apple Valley, Calif., thought, “Shit, keep firing,” to disrupt any more enemy fire. Emptying his load, Harris finished his rounds, and rushed to his aid. Pulling Fresenius, who was writhing in pain, by his legs to safety, Harris yelled for the corpsman. That is when ‘Doc’ Brown came running. Climbing down a ladder on the backside of the building, Harris and Brown got Fresenius inside. That is when Doc Brown went to work. With bullets impacting just three to four feet over their heads, Brown, from Colorado Springs, Colo., tended to his Marine. “I immediately stripped his gear off, looking to expose the wound. I saw he had been hit on the top of his spine, but the thankfully round had not impacted the skin.” Fresenius was awarded the Purple Heart by Brig. Gen. Joseph Osterman, 1st Marine Division (Forward) commanding general, during a battalion formation aboard Camp Leatherneck, Sept. 23.

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1st Marine Division