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UNSUNG HEROES: This Marine Gave His Life Carrying One Of His Wounded Men To Safety
On July 1, 2010, Marine Cpl. Larry D. Harris, a mortarman with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, was on a patrol through the Garmsir District in Helmand province, Afghanistan, when his squad came under attack.
Under fire from approximately 40 enemy fighters armed with small arms and medium machine guns, Harris and his team laid down suppressing fire with rifles and 40mm grenades, as they made their way to a covered position. According to a Department of Defense news release, when a fellow Marine was shot in the leg, Harris ran from his position of cover to retrieve the wounded man as the enemy fired on him from multiple directions. As Harris carried the wounded Marine toward the medical evacuation site, he passed through a vineyard where he struck an improvised explosive device.
Harris absorbed most of the blast with his body, and though he succumbed to his wounds, his actions saved the life of the wounded Marine.
For his heroism and selfless sacrifice, Harris was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, which was presented to his family during a ceremony at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, on March 4, 2011, notes the San Diego Tribune.
Lt. Col. Fridrik Fridriksson and Sgt. Maj. Scott Samuels with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment present the Silver Star to Lora and Bruce Merriweather, the parents of Cpl. Larry D. Harris, who was awarded the medal posthumously during a ceremony at Camp Pendleton on Feb. 4, 2011.U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Paul Basciano
Now, nearly six years after his death, Harris’ extraordinary sacrifice serves as an example to future Marines.
On May 19, during a ceremony at Camp Pendleton, Harris became the latest Marine to have an obstacle in the Crucible named after him. The Crucible takes place at Edson Range on Camp Pendleton and is the final rite of passage that recruits must undergo during Marine Corps boot camp. Over the course of 54 hours, recruits must navigate 24 challenges, all named after Marines who died performing valorous acts in combat.
The newly named Harris Trail will require recruits to use hand and arm signals, team formations, and will test them on their improvised explosive device awareness skills.
A citation is displayed at the newly dedicated Harris Trail at Edson Range's Crucible at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, on May 19.U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Jennifer Antoine
“[I] hope this citation going up today brings some sort of peace to his family and to my fellow Marines of 3/1, knowing that once again he is where he belongs being looked up to and being respected by a new generation of Marines,” said Ian Gilbert, who served with Harris in Afghanistan.
More than 17,000 recruits are transformed into Marines at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego each year, and now, that many more will know of the sacrifice Harris made for his fellow Marines.
“For that brief moment in time, when the recruits come to the obstacle and stand at attention to read and learn about Cpl. Harris, he will be the center of attention once again, which he so well deserves” said Gilbert.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has confirmed that a nightmare scenario has come to pass: Captured ISIS fighters are escaping as a result of Turkey's invasion of Kurdish-held northeast Syria.
Turkey's incursion has led to "the release of many dangerous ISIS detainees," Esper said in a statement on Monday.
Video footage of a purported "bombing of Kurd civilians" by Turkish military forces shown on ABC News appeared to be a nighttime firing of tracer rounds at a Kentucky gun range.
The U.S. military's seemingly never-ending mission supporting civil authorities along the southwestern border will last at least another year.
On Sept. 3, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to provide a total of up to 5,500 troops along the border until Sept. 30, 2020, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Army North, said on Monday.