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Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Hartrick, followed by fellow 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Marines, congratulates Gunnery Sgt. Brian M. Blonder after he received the Navy Cross during a ceremony at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va., May 10, 2011. Blonder, a reconnaissance Marine, 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 heavily outnumbered against insurgents, 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 was serving as platoon sergeant with a force reconnaissance platoon attached to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.
110510-M-0000S-014.jpg Photo By: Sgt. Michael S. Cifuentes

May 10, 2011
Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Hartrick, followed by fellow 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Marines, congratulates Gunnery Sgt. Brian M. Blonder after he received the Navy Cross during a ceremony at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va., May 10, 2011. Blonder, a reconnaissance Marine, 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 heavily outnumbered against insurgents, 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 was serving as platoon sergeant with a force reconnaissance platoon attached to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.


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