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Marine of the Week // “I saw my sergeant laying down and I said, ‘Not today.'”
Cpl. Moses Cardenas
H&HS, 1st LAR, RCT-2, II Marine Expeditionary Force
Iraq, August 2, 2007
Award: Silver Star
While conducting a combat patrol, Lance Corporal Cardenas’ platoon was attacked by heavy automatic fire, a suicide bomber, and rocket propelled grenades after stopping two suspicious trucks. During the initial stage of the fight, a Marine fell wounded in the open between the opposing forces. Realizing that the bulk of friendly weapons were masked, Lance Corporal Cardenas left his safe position behind a vehicle and fought his way across 50 meters of fire-swept, open desert against five armed insurgents to rescue the fallen Marine. After sustaining a gunshot wound to the neck that knocked him to the ground, Lance Corporal Cardenas tenaciously rose to his feet, calmly reloaded his squad automatic weapon, and continued his assault until he reached the wounded Marine. With rounds impacting around him, Lance Corporal Cardenas alternated between pulling the wounded Marine and shooting bursts of controlled automatic fire at the enemy. After pulling the wounded Marine 100 meters, he continued suppressive fire while rendering first aid until medical personnel arrived to tend to the wounds of both Marines. Throughout this close and fierce fight, he ignored his own severe wounds, remained fixed on his task, and saved the life of a fellow Marine. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Lance Corporal Cardenas reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.