Photo Information

The awards being presented to the Marines and sailor with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom Oct. 24, 2013. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Michael C. Dye)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Michael Dye

9 Marines, 1 sailor awarded Purple Heart medals

29 Oct 2013 | Lance Cpl. Michael Dye

Nine Marines and one sailor with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, received the Purple Heart medal and one Marine received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for their actions in their support of Operation Enduring Freedom, October 24, 2013.

“Personnel to be decorated, Center, March”, said Sgt. Maj. Nicholas A. Deabreu, the sergeant major of 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, opening the award ceremony for the Marines and sailor with Fox Co. who received awards. 

Lance Cpl. Carter Anderson, a mortar man and Longview, Wash., native; Lance Cpl. Sean Applewhite, a mortar man and Richmond, Va,. native; Cpl. Jerry Burns, a team leader and Ocala, Fla., native; Lance Cpl. Broghan Fields, a machine gunner and Conway, Mo., native; Lance Cpl. Dekota Frear, a machine gunner and Carlton, Minn., native; Seaman Jacob Hyder, a naval corpsman and Jefferson, Ga., native; Lance Cpl. Nicholas McLeod, an assault man and Hattiesburg, Miss., native; Cpl. Nicholas Pirko, a team leader and Elm Mott, Texas, native; Cpl. Richard Wallace and Chicago native; and Lance Cpl Dearrius Waller, a rifleman and Birmingham, Ala., native, all with Fox Co. 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment received the Purple Heart award.

One Marine was recognized for his outstanding performance under a high-stress situation, Pfc. Duncan Mathis, a rifleman and Wilson, N.C. native, received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and a promotion to the rank of Lance Corporal.

“While we were on a patrol, I stepped into a well and fell about 50 feet, I broke both my legs and several other bones,” said Mathis after receiving a Navy Achievement Medal. “I then applied my own tourniquet, stayed calm and radioed for my higher ups in order to be evacuated.”

One Marine even received injuries while inside an armored vehicle while on a mounted patrol.

“While on a patrol a round entered our vehicle striking me in the left leg,” said Frear. “It is definitely a bitter sweet award but I’m proud to wear it.”

After the ceremony marines were met by Brig. Gen. Burke Whitman, the Assistant Division Commanding General where he expressed his thank to them for what they endured.

“These Marines performed spectacular in an extremely challenging environment that had a lot of kinetic activity,” said Whitman. “The Marines had exceptional leadership and really made us proud.” 

The Purple Heart is the oldest military award that is still awarded to military members, and is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of an Armed Force or any civilian national of the United States who, while serving under competent authority in any capacity with one of the U.S. Armed Services after 5 April 1917, has been wounded or killed, or who has died or may hereafter die after being wounded. The Purple Heart differs from other military awards because a service member is not recommended for the award, but is awarded the medal if they meet the criteria.

“This ceremony is bringing closure to us [Fox Co.],” said First Sgt. Eric Shaffer, the company first sergeant of Fox Co and a Pasadena, Md., native. “I couldn’t be more proud of the physical and mental strength these guys displayed in Afghanistan.” “Throughout the entire deployment the company did a superb job in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.”

Read more: