MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- A Freehold, N.J., native was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds he received during combat operations in the Al Anbar province of Iraq.
Lance Cpl. John Myslinski, 27, a Marine with Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division received the medal for his actions in Ramadi, Iraq back in June.
The Purple Heart was established by General George Washington in Newburgh, New York, on Aug. 7, 1782, during the Revolutionary War later awarded to servicemember who was wounded by direct result of enemy action.
While Myslinski, a 1996 Freehold Borough High School graduate, was a member of the quick reaction force when the enemy compromised their observation post.
“A firefight started with small arms AK-47 fire and the enemy started shooting rocket-propelled grenades at the house we were at,” he explained.
Myslinski was shooting back out of a window when an RPG crashed through the window in the next room and exploded sending pieces of shrapnel into his neck.
“At first I thought that it was grenades going off, but as I got closer to the window I saw the RPGs,” Myslinski explained.
The Freehold, N.J., was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from the middle of March to mid-Sept.
With three and a half months to go in his deployment when he was injured, Myslinski described what it was like for him to continue operating.
“About a week afterward I was definitely more cautious especially on patrol, but after a few weeks I was more comfortable being out there,” he explained.
After receiving the award, Myslinski explained how it felt to receive the medal.
“I’m really just happy that I’m still alive, but it is an honor to receive this,” he explained shaking hands with his fellow Marines.