CAMP HURRICANE POINT, AR RAMADI, Iraq -- Lance Cpl. Jaime M. Magallanes, a rifleman with 2nd Squad, 3rd Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, was wounded by an enemy sniper while on a patrol in the city here March 23.
It would take more than a 7.62 mm round to his protective vest to stop the 22-year-old San Antonio, Texas native from fighting, though.
"We were patrolling in an area where there was a lot of space and open ground surrounded by buildings," Magallanes recalled. "I was moving into the next position. When, I turned around to look behind me and stood for about two seconds, and I heard a shot. I immediately took a knee, got up and ran to some other Marines to get checked out. I didn't know if I had been hit or not."
He was hit. The round hit the top, right portion of his armored chest plate. The impact caused minor abrasions and bruising to his chest, nothing life threatening.
The young warrior completely disregarded his injury and turned his concerns toward his fellow Marines and the mission they had set out to accomplish.
"They tried to put me in a humvee, and I told them, 'That's a negative,'" he said.
"I could still hold my weapon. I could still walk. My legs weren't blown off. I wanted to finish the mission."
According to his squad leader, Cpl. Troy C. Arnold, Magallanes' performance under such circumstances was outstanding.
"His only concern was to get his Marines out (of the line of fire) and to safety," explained the 27-year-old from Knoxville, Tenn. "He kept calm and ensured his Marines sought cover."
Arnold added after Magallanes made sure the other Marines were safe, he continued in the fight.
"He told the XO, 'I'm going to fulfill my mission and finish out the patrol,'" he said. "It was a good thing, too. We needed him. We still had about an hour and a half of patrolling left to do."
Magallanes' actions didn't surprise his platoon sergeant, Staff Sgt. Staff Sgt. Cole Daunhauer.
"He's the type that will do anything for his fellow Marines," the 31-year-old Louisville, Ky., native explained. "He gives selflessly to others. I've seen lots of Marines, and he is definitely in the top 10 percent of lance corporals I've known. He leads by example and will go on to build a great NCO corps."
Once the patrol concluded, the infantry battalion's surgeon treated Magallanes at the battalion aid station.
"We wiped his wound down and dressed it," said 32-year old Navy Lt. Stephen A of San Dimas, Calif. "We also listened to his lungs to see if he was breathing fine. He was cool and calm and said he wanted to return to the fight."
In caring for his Marine, Daunhauer recommended the injured warrior receive 24 hours rest and relaxation at a medical facility on Camp Junction City.
"He probably won't take it because of the type of Marine he is."