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UNSUNG HEROES: Wounded And Under Fire, This MARSOC Corpsman Kept Fighting
On April 25, 2013, Petty Officer 1st Class Kevin D. Baskin, a Navy Corpsman, with 3rd Marine Special Operations Battalion, set out with his team on a mission to the Kushe Village in Herat province, Afghanistan.
Baskin’s team began taking sporadic fire as soon as they reached one of their checkpoints, according to a March 2015 Department of Defense article. The team identified two separate groups of attackers moving into fighting positions, and as the mission continued, Baskin’s team became pinned down down behind a cemetery wall.
“Another teammate ran to our position with the 60mm mortar and started sending rounds down range,” said Baskin. “When he ran out of rounds for the 60, he left the cemetery to another wall about 50 meters in front of us. When he looked up to try and suppress the enemy, he was shot.”
Without hesitation, Baskin ran to the man’s side and began providing desperately needed first aid. Baskin stabilized the wounded Marine and directed his evacuation.
That’s when Baskin was shot in the back.
Injured, with one man down and still taking accurate fire, Baskin turned his attention to his attackers and fired back in earnest. As Baskin began suppressing the enemy positions, his teammates were able to evacuate the kill zone. His actions are credited with saving the lives of four Marines.
For his bravery under fire, Baskin was awarded the Silver Star, the third-highest award for valor, during a ceremony at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, on March 20, 2015. He also received his second Purple Heart. On a previous deployment with 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Baskin was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and evacuated to U.S. Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, where he worked for eight months while recuperating.
“I am proud to be receiving an award like this,” said Baskin. “I felt like I was just doing my job ... what anyone else on the team would have done if put into the situation. It’s a very surreal feeling.”
During the award ceremony, Maj. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, the commander of U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Command, spoke to Baskin’s character and selflessness under fire.
“If you look across battlefields throughout history, there is always that one ringing slogan that you see and hear throughout and that is, ‘Corpsman up!’” said Osterman. “HM1 (Baskin) went forward without thought of himself, to the point of protecting his fellow Marines with his own body. From a personal perspective, I appreciate who he is as a man, from how he takes care of his family to the quiet professional that he epitomizes.”
‘Take what’s inside and get it outside’ — Air Force psychologist reminds airmen of mental health resources
Kirtland Air Force Base isn't much different from the world beyond its gates when it comes to dealing with mental illnesses, a base clinical psychologist says.
Maj. Benjamin Carter told the Journal the most frequent diagnosis on the base is an anxiety disorder.
"It's not a surprise, but I anticipate about anytime in the population in America, about 20% of the population has some form of diagnosable anxiety disorder, and it's no different in the military," he said.
Leading the way among the anxiety disorders, he said, were post-traumatic stress disorder "or something like panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder."
The DNA of a niece and nephew, who never met their uncle, has helped identify the remains of the Kansas Marine who died in WWII.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that 21-year-old U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Raymond Warren was identified using DNA and circumstantial evidence. Warren had been buried in a cemetery in the Gilbert Islands, where he was killed when U.S. forces tried to take secure one of the islands from the Japanese.
The Battle of Tarawa lasted from Nov. 20 to Nov. 23, 1943, and claimed the lives of 1,021 U.S. marines and sailors, more than 3,000 Japanese soldiers and an estimated 1,000 Korean laborers before the U.S. troops seized control, the agency said.
Arizona lawmakers are vowing to fight a plan by the Air Force to start retiring some of the nation's fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack jets — a major operation at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base — as part of a plan to drop some older, legacy weapon systems to help pay for new programs.
U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., a former A-10 pilot, and U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., both vowed to fight the move to retire 44 of the oldest A-10s starting this year.
During a press briefing last week, Air Force officials unveiled plans to start mothballing several older platforms, including retiring some A-10s even as it refits others with new wings.
MOSCOW/SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong Un was filmed riding through the snow on a white stallion last year, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on 12 purebred horses from Russia, according to Russian customs data.
Accompanied by senior North Korean figures, Kim took two well-publicized rides on the snowy slopes of the sacred Paektu Mountain in October and December.
State media heralded the jaunts as important displays of strength in the face of international pressure and the photos of Kim astride a galloping white steed were seen around the world.
North Korea has a long history of buying pricey horses from Russia and customs data first reported by Seoul-based NK News suggests that North Korea may have bolstered its herd in October.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A high-profile local Taliban figure who announced and justified the 2012 attack on teenage Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has escaped detention, Pakistan's interior minister confirmed a few days after the militant announced his breakout on social media.
Former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, who claimed responsibility on behalf of his group for scores of Taliban attacks, proclaimed his escape on Twitter and then in an audio message sent to Pakistani media earlier this month.
The Pakistani military, which had kept Ehsan in detention for three years, has declined to comment but, asked by reporters about the report, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah, said: "That is correct, that is correct."
Shah, a retired brigadier general, added that "you will hear good news" in response to questions about whether there had been progress in hunting down Ehsan.