CAMP PENDLETON — The moment country music artist Jason Aldean stopped singing at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017, two Marines in the crowd heard gunfire and their training kicked in.
"We looked at each other and said, 'We've got to go help,'" Sgt. Austin Cox, a 26-year-old flightline mechanic for Marine Light Training Squadron 303, part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, said Monday, April 29. "Our adrenaline was rushing. You just full-blown go. As people ran out, we ran towards chaos."
On Monday, Cox and Marine veteran Sgt. Michael Vura, 26, were awarded Navy and Marine Corps Medals for exceptional bravery and selfless actions in saving lives and preventing serious bodily harm of others around them during the largest mass shooting in modern American history. Fifty-eight people were killed and more than 500 were injured in the shooting.
The awards were signed by Marine Corps Commandant Robert B. Neller for President Donald Trump.
A petty officer currently stationed at Dutch Harbor, Alaska, is the first Coast Guardsman since 2012 to be awarded the prestigious Coast Guard Medal for heroism.
Given to military members serving with the Coast Guard for heroism in a situation not involving contact with the enemy, the medal was presented to Petty Officer 2nd Class Traci Huddleston for her "extraordinary heroism" during the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz presented it Tuesday during a ceremony at the annual USO Metro Gala in Washington, D.C.
U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria sent in for the so-called "advise and assist" mission against the Islamic State have engaged in direct combat with the terror group more often than you'd think, according to individual award citations obtained by Code Red News.
So you’re not infantry. You’re not a medic. You don’t have any brushed-metallic way of signaling you’re kind of a big deal in your particular military occupational specialty. You know what this means? WE HAVE A CRITICAL BADGE GAP. And the Army is here to help fill that sucker for you.
In the wake of a March 2014 review of the military’s decorations and awards system ordered by then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the Pentagon is set to review more than 1,100 awards for valor issued since Sept. 11, 2001, for possible upgrades to Medal of Honor awards.