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Gunnery Sgt. Brian M. Blonder was awarded the Navy Cross, the second highest award given for valor in the face of danger, during a ceremony at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va., May 10, 2011. He was recognized for his bravery and outstanding leadership during an all-day firefight against Taliban insurgents Aug. 8, 2008, during the battle of Shewan, Afghanistan. Although he and the Marines and sailors he was fighting alongside with were heavily outnumbered by the enemy, they managed to kill more than 50 insurgents and drove the rest out of their fortified fighting positions in the Taliban infested village in southern Farah province. Blonder, a reconnaissance Marine by trade, was serving as platoon sergeant with a force reconnaissance platoon attached to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment. He was personally responsible for killing at least three Taliban combatants.
110510-M-0000S-011.jpg Photo By: Sgt. Michael S. Cifuentes

May 10, 2011
Gunnery Sgt. Brian M. Blonder was awarded the Navy Cross, the second highest award given for valor in the face of danger, during a ceremony at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va., May 10, 2011. He was recognized for his bravery and outstanding leadership during an all-day firefight against Taliban insurgents Aug. 8, 2008, during the battle of Shewan, Afghanistan. Although he and the Marines and sailors he was fighting alongside with were heavily outnumbered by the enemy, they managed to kill more than 50 insurgents and drove the rest out of their fortified fighting positions in the Taliban infested village in southern Farah province. Blonder, a reconnaissance Marine by trade, was serving as platoon sergeant with a force reconnaissance platoon attached to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment. He was personally responsible for killing at least three Taliban combatants.


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