Marine of the Week // Under Fire, Carried an Injured Marine 400 Meters to Safety

Marine of the Week // Under Fire, Carried an Injured Marine 400 Meters to Safety

MARINE OF THE WEEK // Under fire, carried an injured Marine 400 meters to safety

1st Lt. James Salka
1st Battalion, 9th Marines
Operation Enduring Freedom, Helmand Province, Afghanistan
Award: Bronze Star w/ Combat “V”

While deployed to Afghanistan in 2013, 1st Lt. Salka’s platoon was tasked with defending against insurgent weapon trafficking across a vast desert stretching more than 100 miles. In most cases, Salka’s unit was the only deterrence against insurgent attacks.
Eight weeks into their deployment, Salka’s platoon conducted a helicopter raid into the Taliban stronghold of Now Zad. Upon landing under fire, the Marines found themselves encircled by enemy fighters. During this fight, Salka exposed himself to enemy machine gun fire to resupply his Marines while working to identify a new extraction point.
During the extraction, Lance Cpl. Johnathan Burns fell to the ground from an injury sustained earlier in the fight. Salka picked him up without hesitation and ran a quarter mile to the helicopter, saving that Marine’s life.

1st Lt. Salka would spend another five months in Afghanistan conducting another 164 patrols, eventually being injured by a roadside bomb while on a mounted patrol.

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23 comments


  • Jim mccuen

    This is another hero who makes us say we are proud to be Marines. I served 1958-1961. I still wear my shirts and covers stating U S Marines. My grandson says I wear them every day. Semper Fi


  • Jerry Morton

    Thank you, for a job well done, Sir ! You, make all of us old, and young, Marine’s, PROUD, to have served with the bravest of them all. Semper Fi Sgt G E Morton 1963 to 1967 Vietnam Vet


  • Sgt. J.J. Hernandez 1981-1985

    May the Good Lord guide and protect you always, Lt. Salka. Officers who take care of their troops in all ways are examples of real leaders.


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