CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — An East Texas native was recently honored for his heroic actions while serving oversees in Afghanistan. On July 23, Lance Cpl. Joel T. Murray, of Hallsville, earned the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with “V” device in recognition of his “heroic achievement” during the defense of Forward Operating Base Shir Ghazi in the Helmand province.
According to a release from the military, on May 13, 2013, a suicide bomber used an improvised explosive device (IED) to attack the Marine's compound. Murray quickly made his was to where the blast happened and killed an armed enemy en route.
Once he made it to the explosion site, the Marine provided aid to a Georgian soldier who had suffered a major leg injury. Murray then helped another wounded soldier and directed a stretcher team for the injured.
“It is completely humbling to serve along side you,” said Maj. David H. Mills, company commander of Combat Logistics Company, CLR-2, after presenting Murray with the award. “These are the things that contribute to the legend of the Marine Corps. They are the things people join the Marine Corps to do.”
Murray continued to provide security and medical aid to wounded Marines and Georgian soldiers for more than two hours after the attack.
“I can’t think of anything else I can say but thank you,” said Col. Dwayne A. Whiteside, the commanding officer of CLR-2, as he addressed Murray and his peers. “This is what we do. We get assigned a mission, we take care of each other, and we accomplish the mission. We didn’t leave anyone on the battlefield, and that’s a great thing.”