Two Marines are about to be awarded Navy Crosses tomorrow for their valor in Afghanistan. One is Sgt. Clifford Wooldridge who was a vehicle commander when they were ambushed by about 15 Taliban. Sgt. Wooldridge dismounted his Marines and assaulted the ambush killing, wounding and running off all of the Taliban. DVIDS continues the story;
As his fire team was withdrawing, Wooldridge heard voices from behind an adjacent wall of a nearby compound. When he went to investigate the voices, Wooldridge found himself face to face with two Taliban fighters, whom he then killed with his weapon. Out of ammunition, Wooldridge crouched to reload his weapon when he saw the barrel of a Taliban machine gun appear from around the corner of the wall. Wooldridge grabbed the barrel and pulled the surprised fighter around the corner with it. The two began fighting hand-to-hand.
Realizing his predicament against the 220-pound former football player, the Taliban fighter attempted to pull the pin on a grenade in order to kill them both. Wooldridge used the fighter’s own machine gun to kill him with several blows to the head.
The other Marine is Sgt. Christopher Farias who had promised his Marines that he’d get them all home alive and he claims that was his motivation that led to this award according to the Houston Chronicle;
“I had to keep my promise, which was to bring my guys home,” Sgt. Farias told the news station. “I promised my best friend’s wife that I would get him home. I could hear him screaming and I knew I had to do something.”
In 2010, Farias was knocked out during an attack, and when he regained consciousness he started fighting back against the Taliban. He saved his fellow [M]arines by leading them out of danger, KTRK reported.