The only thing more badass than a SEAL, is a corpsman SEAL.
A few months ago a big story was floating around about how there had only been 6 Navy Crosses awarded since 9/11, but one of them was unknown due to classification issues. Well, now the last awardee, Navy SEAL LT MArk Donald has come forth, and he’s a true hero.
His citation, which is not classified but on which his name had been redacted, tells most of the story.
As part of a mounted convoy on a mission against al-Qaida and Taliban in a location not specified as either Afghanistan or Pakistan, Donald and his team were ripped “with extremely heavy” small arms, machine gun and rocket-propelled grenade fire. “They were well-armed and well-trained,” he said. “They were close enough that you could see them and smell them.”
According to the citation, Donald got out of his truck shooting, pulled a wounded Afghan commander into cover behind the engine block, then pulled out a trapped, unnamed American.
“He covered the wounded with his own body while returning fire and providing care,” the citation reads. The fire was heavy enough at points to zip through his clothing and gear and hit his weapon.
Donald then went to treat wounded Afghans in the two lead trucks and rallied the remaining troops to “break the ambush.”
Later the same day, a joint unit sweeping the area was attacked near Donald and his team.
Again, he sprang into action. “Knowing personnel were gravely wounded Lieutenant Donald without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own safety ran 200 meters between opposing forces exposing him to withering and continuous heavy machine gun and small arms fire to render medical treatment to two wounded personnel, one Afghan and one American,” the citation reads. “Still under intense enemy fire, wounded by shrapnel, … he organized the surviving Afghan soldiers and led a 200 meter fighting withdrawal.”
A true hero. Granted, I think all docs are heroes. Those with Special Forces even more so because they still put down their weapons to render care at what are almost guaranteed bad times to NOT be shooting back.