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Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus presents the Navy Cross to Gunnery Sgt. Brian M. Blonder during a ceremony at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va., May 10, 2011. Blonder received the second highest award given for valor in the face of danger for his actions 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 outnumbered against insurgents, they managed to kill more than 50 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.
110510-M-0000S-013.jpg Photo By: Sgt. Michael S. Cifuentes

May 10, 2011
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus presents the Navy Cross to Gunnery Sgt. Brian M. Blonder during a ceremony at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va., May 10, 2011. Blonder received the second highest award given for valor in the face of danger for his actions 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 outnumbered against insurgents, they managed to kill more than 50 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.


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