Monday, June 05, 2006------------------------------------------------------------------------
The 3/7 is an awesome Battalion. Eric is in Lima Co (which he is proud to be a member of) but has friends that are Weapons Co too. It cool that I know some of these guys. I am proud of all of them! Semper Fi !!
6 Purple Hearts, 3 NAMs awarded to members of 3/7
Submitted by: MCAGCC
Story and Photos by: Lance Cpl. Michael S. Cifuentes
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif.(May 31, 2006) -- Weapons and Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, held a formation behind their battalion command post May 31 to award two Marines and a Sailor with Lima Company the Purple Heart, three Marines with Weapons Company the Purple Heart and four Marines with Weapons Company the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
The Lima Company recipients of the Purple Heart were Lance Cpl. Benjamin J. Rende, a rifleman from Oswego, Ill., Lance Cpl. Jesse H. Hinkley, a rifleman from Las Vegas, and Seaman Benjamin L. McIntosh, a corpsman from Scottsdale, Ariz.
Seaman Benjamin L. McIntosh, a corpsman with Weapons Company, 3/7, stands at attention after he was awarded the Purple Heart May 31.
The Weapons Company recipients of the Purple Heart were Keith R. Laskey, an assaultman from Manteno, Ill., Lance Cpl. Francisco J. Conroy, a mortarman from Tempe, Ariz., and Lance Cpl. Michael M. Williams, a machinegunner from Lancaster, Calif.
The four Weapons Company recipients of the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal were Lance Cpl. Aaron M. Cassel, a mortarman from North Manchester, Ind., Cpl. Shane R. Burge, a mortarman from Lyons, Kan., Sgt. Eric C. Dunham, a scout sniper from Wibaux, Mont., and Sgt. Marcus J. Major, a TOW gunner from Cleveland.
Lt. Col. Roger B. Turner, commanding officer of 3rd Battalion,
7th Marine Regiment, pins the Purple Heart on a Marine.
Even though seven Marines were awarded medals, all members of Weapons Company were recognized for their hard work. What each Marine did for Weapons Company was very honorable during the last deployment to Iraq, said 1st Sgt. Joseph C. Breze, Weapons Company first sergeant.
"I recall everyone in the company doing an awesome job out there," said Breze as he stood in front of a ‘school circle’ formation after the ceremony. "From the depths of my heart, I greatly appreciate all the hard work everyone’s done in this company. I believe we all were so successful because of our outstanding performance."
Cassel, a member of combined anti-armor team red, Weapons Company, was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for his hard work after he arrived to a scene destroyed by a suicide bomber.
"When I first got out there I was shocked by what I saw," said Cassel. "I snapped out of awe and began rushing to assist those who needed help. I didn’t have time to think, I just acted as fast as possible."
Three U.S. Soldiers were killed, as well as several Iraqi soldiers and civilians, said Cassel.
"We were ordered to police call the area of any parts that lay behind from the blast," continued Cassel. "This was the time when it all caught up to me. It didn’t bother me much, but it was a really bd sight."
"It feels good to receive this award," added Cassel. "I feel like I’m recognized and appreciated. A lot of the people I worked with deserve the same recognition. The company does recognize those Marines and know who they are. Everyone did their part that day. We couldn’t ever get through days like that, and the whole deployment, without each other."
Rende, a member of 4th Platoon, Lima Company, received the Purple Heart for wounds he sustained from an improvised explosive device blast in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, Dec. 7, 2006.
"We were coming back from dropping off one of our platoons at an outpost, and our [convoy] took a turn down a side street," said Rende. "The third truck in the convoy was hit with an IED, and the vehicle I was in pulled around to help secure the hit truck. Just then, another blast went off as I was dismounting from the passenger side of my vehicle."
The second IED blast threw Rende back into the vehicle and knocked him unconscious for several minutes, he said. Upon regaining consciousness, Rende continued with his task of helping injured Marines on to a medical evacuation vehicle.
"After returning to the base, my section and I went to the battalion aid station to give blood," added Rende.
Although a Purple Heart is not an award one strives to achieve during a deployment, Marines still earn them. The battalion is just glad that you are still here to receive them, said Maj. Rory B. Quinn, Lima Company commander.
The marine identified as Aaron M. Cassel of North Manchester in the photo is not Aaron Cassel. I am Aaron's uncle.
According to the Marine Corps .. that is LCpl Aaron Cassel. See it here: http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/mcn2000.nsf/ac95bc775efc34c685256ab50049d458/96d7fba6038c76e585257181006914c1?OpenDocumentPost a Comment
But I believe you (I am under no complusion to believe that the Marine Corps writers never make a mistake!) so I will remove the caption from that pic.
Thanks for the info.