UNSUNG HEROES: Wounded And Under Fire, This MARSOC Corpsman Kept Fighting

Major Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, awards Petty Officer 1st Class Kevin D. Baskin, special amphibious reconnaissance corpsman, 3d Marine Special Operations Battalion, the Silver Star Medal during a ceremony at Stone Bay aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 20, 2015.
U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Scott A. Achtemeier

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.”

Related: UNSUNG HEROES: The Corpsman who sprinted into gunfire to save 5 Marines »

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.”

It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.

It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.

"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.

Read More Show Less

An Air Force Special Tactics combat controller that "delivered thousands of pounds of munition" during a close-range 2007 firefight in Afghanistan was awarded the Silver Star on Friday.

Read More Show Less

ROCKFORD — Delta Force sniper Sgt. First Class James P. McMahon's face was so badly battered and cut, "he looked like he was wearing a fright mask" as he stood atop a downed Black Hawk helicopter and pulled free the body of a fellow soldier from the wreckage.

That's the first description of McMahon in the book by journalist Mark Bowden called "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War." It is a detailed account of the horrific Battle of the Black Sea fought in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. It claimed the lives of 18 elite American soldiers.

Read More Show Less

The July arrests of 16 Camp Pendleton Marines in front of their 800-person battalion was unlawful and a violation of their rights, a Marine Corps judge ruled Friday.

Read More Show Less

Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will retire as a chief petty officer now that President Donald Trump has restored his rank.

"Before the prosecution of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward Gallagher, he had been selected for promotion to Senior Chief, awarded a Bronze Star with a "V" for valor, and assigned to an important position in the Navy as an instructor," a White House statement said.

"Though ultimately acquitted on all of the most serious charges, he was stripped of these honors as he awaited his trial and its outcome. Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified."

The announcement that Gallagher is once again an E-7 effectively nullifies the Navy's entire effort to prosecute Gallagher for allegedly committing war crimes. It is also the culmination of Trump's support for the SEAL throughout the legal process.

On July 2, military jurors found Gallagher not guilty of premeditated murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter to death and opening fire at an old man and a young girl on separate occasions during his 2017 deployment to Iraq.

Read More Show Less