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Wounded Marine in iconic Fallujah photo awarded Navy Cross
Marine Corps News ^ | Lance Cpl. Patrick J. Floto

Posted on 05/05/2006 4:01:18 PM PDT by SandRat

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (May 4, 2006) -- Sgt. Maj. Bradley A. Kasal feels he did what any good Marine would’ve done.

That includes taking enemy rifle fire on Nov. 14, 2004, absorbing a grenade blast and refusing medical attention inside Fallujah’s “House of Hell” during Operation Al Fajr (New Dawn).

For his extraordinary heroism and leadership in Fallujah, Iraq, as the Weapons Company first sergeant for 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Kasal was awarded the Navy Cross during a ceremony here Monday.

“The word hero is tossed around pretty loosely these days,” said Maj. Gen. Michael R. Lehnert, Commanding General of Marine Corps Installations West, after awarding Kasal with the Naval service’s second-highest decoration, in front of an audience that included the 1st Marine Division’s past and present commanding generals, Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis and Maj. Gen. Richard F. Natonski, respectively.

”Some may call a basketball player a hero for scoring the winning goal or a celebrity for donating a small portion of their earnings to a good cause, but Kasal is a true American hero.”

When then-1st Sgt. Kasal assisted one of his platoons with an over watch inside Fallujah that day, intense gunfire broke out in an Iraqi home to his immediate front.

Seconds later, Marines were rapidly exiting the building, known as the “House of Hell.” “That house was a death trap,” said Maj. Gen. Lehnert.

“It was set up for one purpose: to kill United States Marines.” Kasal could have easily stayed out of the house.”

When he found out that there were Marines still pinned down inside the infamous house, nothing the insurgents could put on the table would stop him from rescuing his Marines.

“Going in for them was the right thing to do,” said Kasal, 39, who hails from Afton, Iowa. “They’re Marines, and I’m a Marine. We look out for each other.”

Upon entry of the house, Kasal found himself face-to-face with an insurgent who he neutralized at extreme close range. Shortly afterwards, AK-47 gunfire was coming from all directions, and Kasal was hit from behind.

“While I was in that house, I made three life or death decisions,” Kasal said. “I never thought I would live through any of them, but I did what I did to help the other Marines.”

The first decision Kasal made was to expose himself to enemy fire in order to pull another wounded Marine out of the line of fire. Kasal took more enemy fire doing this.

While both Marines were under cover, they assessed their wounds. Both had multiple injuries, but there were only enough bandages for one of them to live.

Kasal made his second decision to forfeit his medical supplies to the other Marine.

“It made more sense to use all of the bandages on one of us then to split the supplies and have us both bleed to death,” Kasal said.

The insurgents deployed a hand grenade to get the Marines out of cover, and it landed within a few feet of the two bleeding Marines.

Kasal then decided to use his own severely wounded body to protect the Marine from shrapnel.

By the time he was carried out of the house by Lance Cpl. Chris Marquez and Lance Cpl. Dan Shaffer as Lucian M. Reed, an Associated Press photographer snapped the iconic photo displayed at Marine Corps installations all over the globe, Kasal had lost approximately 60 percent of his blood from more than 40 shrapnel wounds and seven 7.62 mm AK-47 gunshots.

One day prior to being awarded the Navy Cross Kasal’s father passed away.

However, a live video teleconference feed to Kasal’s hometown provided his mother, family members and friends an opportunity to watch him receive the Navy Cross, be promoted to the rank of sergeant major and reenlist for three years.

“It’s been a very emotional week,” Kasal said. “I am blessed to recover from my injuries, which the doctors thought would never happen, and regain my place in the Marine Corps. I would take the pain of surgeries any day over the pain of being away from my Marines.”


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; US: California; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: anamericansoldier; awarded; cross; fallujah; iconic; iraq; marine; navy; navycross; oif; photo; reups; terrorwar; waronterror; wounded
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Sergeant Maj. Bradley A. Kasal (right) was awarded the Navy Cross, promoted to his present rank and reenlisted here Monday. Lieutenant Col. David L. Reeves, Assault Amphibian School Battalion’s Commanding Officer congratulates Sgt. Maj. Kasal who was awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism in Fallujah, Iraq, Nov. 13, 2004.
Photo by: Photo by Sgt. Luis R. Agostini
1 posted on 05/05/2006 4:01:22 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: 2LT Radix jr; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; 80 Square Miles; A Ruckus of Dogs; acad1228; AirForceMom; ..

A Marine Grip and Grin of Marine Merit


2 posted on 05/05/2006 4:02:08 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

At the core, it's still the Corps!

Semper Fi


3 posted on 05/05/2006 4:03:46 PM PDT by river rat (You may turn the other cheek, but I prefer to look into my enemy's vacant dead eyes.)
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To: SandRat
I would take the pain of surgeries any day over the pain of being away from my Marines.”

Uuuu rah!

4 posted on 05/05/2006 4:05:35 PM PDT by llevrok (sui generis)
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To: SandRat

Semper Fi


5 posted on 05/05/2006 4:06:51 PM PDT by skimask (People who care what you do don't matter.......People who matter don't care what you do.)
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To: SandRat

God bless you Sargent Major! God Bless the USA where such Heros are born!


6 posted on 05/05/2006 4:08:02 PM PDT by Danae (God bless ya Tony! Thank you!)
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To: SandRat

What an unbelievably brave Marine. God bless him for protecting us.


7 posted on 05/05/2006 4:09:51 PM PDT by microgood
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: SandRat

Damn! That is one tough marine!


9 posted on 05/05/2006 4:10:52 PM PDT by TheDon (The Democratic Party is the party of TREASON!)
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To: SandRat
...Kasal had lost approximately 60 percent of his blood from more than 40 shrapnel wounds and seven 7.62 mm AK-47 gunshots.

One can only conclude that God had a plan for this amazing man, which did not include him dying that day. A real hero indeed. Thanks for posting this.

10 posted on 05/05/2006 4:11:28 PM PDT by Hetty_Fauxvert (Kelo must GO!! ..... http://sonoma-moderate.blogspot.com/)
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To: SandRat

Everytime I read of Americans like Kasal and remember the men I served with, I wonder how our country can get it so wrong when it comes to politics.


11 posted on 05/05/2006 4:13:41 PM PDT by caisson71
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To: SandRat
And an old squid salute for an outstanding jarhead......okay, make that outstandingly outstanding.

And he re-upped, too. Lifer fish, no doubt.

12 posted on 05/05/2006 4:14:47 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus ("Whatever." -- sinkspur)
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To: SandRat

Well Done!


13 posted on 05/05/2006 4:15:47 PM PDT by patton (Once you steal a firetruck, there's really not much else you can do except go for a joyride.)
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To: TheDon

It should scare our enemies to the rotten core that such men exist. And they exist to kill those enemies.


14 posted on 05/05/2006 4:16:30 PM PDT by Frank_Discussion (May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather!)
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To: SandRat

15 posted on 05/05/2006 4:16:35 PM PDT by SittinYonder (Como se llama, bonita, mi casa, su casa)
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To: SandRat
Kasal feels he did what any good Marine would’ve done.
snip
They’re Marines, and I’m a Marine. We look out for each other.”

And they look out for us. God bless them all.

16 posted on 05/05/2006 4:17:03 PM PDT by steveo (Fathers Against Rude Television: You may already be a member)
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To: SandRat

Ooorah!!!


17 posted on 05/05/2006 4:17:07 PM PDT by Mr. Jazzy (VPD of LCpl Smoothguy242, USMC, somewhere in Afghanistan's Kunar Province.)
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To: SandRat

MIDI: FAITHFULLY - http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Galaxy/4242/alphaF.html


From a town...small town in Iowa
Came a hero whom you ought to know
Brad Kasal would protect his men
To the end he was prepared to go

Fallujah had been a living hell as they fought for their lives
Then, oh my God, he saw that grenade
He used his own body to protect his wounded comrade
He wouldn't let him die
Sacred words for you, Brad...Semper Fi

We are blessed to have such fine young men
Men who sacrifice so willingly
They stand up proud...it's their duty, they say
Heroes for all our kids to see

He now lives in constant pain but says there's no regrets
He says that he would do it all again
This is the measure of a real Marine
He wouldn't let him die
Sacred words for you, Brad...Semper Fi

Sacred words for you, sacred words for you, sacred words for you
Sacred words...Semper Fi
Sacred words for you, sacred words for you, sacred words for you
Sacred words...Semper Fi
Sacred words for you, sacred words for you, sacred words for you
Sacred words...Semper Fi
(fade out)


18 posted on 05/05/2006 4:21:46 PM PDT by doug from upland (Stopping Hillary should be a FreeRepublic Manhattan Project)
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To: SandRat

America's finest!


19 posted on 05/05/2006 4:24:49 PM PDT by ryan71
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: SittinYonder; yall
You'll note he still has his .45, and that he's carrying it with his finger on the trigger guard, just like they taught him...
21 posted on 05/05/2006 4:25:52 PM PDT by null and void (Hillary! would have been a big astronaut. Say that slowly)
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To: para-dea

I'll fax them.


22 posted on 05/05/2006 4:28:50 PM PDT by doug from upland (Stopping Hillary should be a FreeRepublic Manhattan Project)
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To: null and void

Actually a 9mm Beretta.


23 posted on 05/05/2006 4:30:08 PM PDT by cll (Carthage must be destroyed)
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To: null and void

Remarkable. Such determination and discipline. And if a bad guy had popped up in front of him, you can bet he would have raised his weapon and fired. With seven bullet wounds and having absorbed the effect of a grenade with his body. Incredible!


24 posted on 05/05/2006 4:31:01 PM PDT by bondjamesbond (RICE 2008)
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To: SandRat
Upon entry of the house, Kasal found himself face-to-face with an insurgent who he neutralized at extreme close range.

This article is full of happy endings!

25 posted on 05/05/2006 4:32:29 PM PDT by TravisBickle (Are you talkin' to me?)
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To: SandRat

Our military - absolutely the BEST Americans. God Bless them and keep them safe!


26 posted on 05/05/2006 4:34:34 PM PDT by maxwellp
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To: SandRat

Our military - absolutely the BEST Americans. God Bless them and keep them safe! (As a woman, may I comment on how good looking this Marine is - far more appealing than the sissy-looking things passing for actors these days).


27 posted on 05/05/2006 4:36:56 PM PDT by maxwellp
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Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: cll

Dang. You're right!


29 posted on 05/05/2006 4:38:03 PM PDT by null and void (Hillary! would have been a big astronaut. Say that slowly)
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To: bondjamesbond

Where do we get such men?

I used to be proud to be an American. Now I am deeply humbled that I may associate myself with such men (and women) by mere accident of birth.


30 posted on 05/05/2006 4:40:24 PM PDT by null and void (Hillary! would have been a big astronaut. Say that slowly)
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To: null and void

I still prefer the ol' Colt .45 but now the Beretta is the standard issue side arm.


31 posted on 05/05/2006 4:40:50 PM PDT by cll (Carthage must be destroyed)
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To: cll

Yeah, when you care enough to send the very best down range...


32 posted on 05/05/2006 4:41:49 PM PDT by null and void (Hillary! would have been a big astronaut. Say that slowly)
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To: cll
I love the pistol in his hand. As if to say, "C'mon and just try get me, pal!!"

Now THAT's a warrior!!!

33 posted on 05/05/2006 4:43:08 PM PDT by llevrok (sui generis)
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To: SandRat
There's good video coverage at this link:

KCCI 8 - Des Moines

34 posted on 05/05/2006 4:43:49 PM PDT by concentric circles
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To: Brad's Gramma

a regular rambo


35 posted on 05/05/2006 4:47:43 PM PDT by BurbankKarl
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To: SandRat

This is Medal of Honor worthy.


36 posted on 05/05/2006 4:52:18 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: RobbyS

I agree. Over time, some of the Crosses get upgraded to MoH. This would be an ideal candidate. And a live one to boot.


38 posted on 05/05/2006 4:55:01 PM PDT by cll (Carthage must be destroyed)
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To: cll; RobbyS

The way I've heard it, Marines who earn a MOH, but aren't KIA, get a Navy Cross. :-P


39 posted on 05/05/2006 4:57:20 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: DuncanWaring

That sounds like 'em.

I'm an old Soldier but always had great respect for them Jar Heads.


40 posted on 05/05/2006 5:05:39 PM PDT by cll (Carthage must be destroyed)
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To: TheDon; caisson71
Damn! That is one tough marine!

Every time I read of Americans like Kasal and remember the men I served with, I wonder how our country can get it so wrong when it comes to politics.

Exactly what I was thinking. To compare the two is like......no words.....there is no comparison.

Wait, yes there is.

One group loves this country and believes in it so much they are willing to die for it.

While the other group...is trying to destroy this country.

Sad.

One each, heart felt, retired military, salute to Sgt. Maj. Bradley A. Kasal.

A true American.

41 posted on 05/05/2006 5:07:10 PM PDT by LasVegasMac (Islam........not fit for human consumption.)
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To: SandRat; Dog

Is this the story that was told so compellingly by a blogger (Michael Yon perhaps?). Whether it is or not, Sgt. Maj. Kasal is quite a hero and is certainly deserving of this honor. May God bless him and keep him!


42 posted on 05/05/2006 5:09:35 PM PDT by kayak (Praying for MozartLover's son, Jemian's son, all our military, and our President every day!)
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To: SandRat

Perhaps a Marine here can fill me in. In the Army, you don't re-enlist after an enlistment that carries you past 10 years of service. Is it the same in the Marines? If so, this is a young SGM.


43 posted on 05/05/2006 5:21:26 PM PDT by Axhandle
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To: SandRat

I wish there were something I could do to support the Marines. I'm just a fat slow guy so I can't join and I'm a poor college student so I can't donate any money to any "Marine" causes. :-(


44 posted on 05/05/2006 5:22:57 PM PDT by Ainast
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To: Ainast

Does the Airforce or Navy take people with my "qualifications?"


45 posted on 05/05/2006 5:25:21 PM PDT by Ainast
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To: SandRat
The land of the free, thanks to the Brave!!
46 posted on 05/05/2006 5:27:41 PM PDT by DTogo (I haven't left the GOP, the GOP left me.)
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To: SandRat

Love those Marines...in my next life I'm gonna be looking for a Marine!


47 posted on 05/05/2006 5:33:28 PM PDT by krunkygirl
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To: RobbyS

Could end up as that. Many times in the past the Navy, AF Cross, or Distinguished Service Cross for the Army end up being replaced later with the MOH.


48 posted on 05/05/2006 5:36:44 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: Ainast

Join and support the College Republican/Conservative Club on Campus. If there isn't one form one and then FReep the daylights out of the college lefties on campus as well as in the college town.


49 posted on 05/05/2006 5:42:11 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: caisson71

... I wonder how our country can get it so wrong when it comes to politics.

&&&
It is amazing and sad.

Thank you for your service, sir.


50 posted on 05/05/2006 5:42:41 PM PDT by Bigg Red (Never trust Democrats with national security.)
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