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Marines with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion joined Gunnery Sgt. Brian M. Blonder at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va., May 10, 2011, when he was awarded the Navy Cross. 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. From left to right, Sgt. David Nisbeth, Sgt. Erik Loyd, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Hartrick, Gunnery Sgt. John Rosenberg, Gunnery Sgt. Brain Blonder, Chief Petty Officer Joe Martin, Gunnery Sgt. Garrett Dean and Gunnery Sgt. Craig Wheeler all fought in the battle of Shewan.
110510-M-0000S-015.jpg Photo By: Sgt. Michael S. Cifuentes

May 10, 2011
Marines with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion joined Gunnery Sgt. Brian M. Blonder at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va., May 10, 2011, when he was awarded the Navy Cross. 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. From left to right, Sgt. David Nisbeth, Sgt. Erik Loyd, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Hartrick, Gunnery Sgt. John Rosenberg, Gunnery Sgt. Brain Blonder, Chief Petty Officer Joe Martin, Gunnery Sgt. Garrett Dean and Gunnery Sgt. Craig Wheeler all fought in the battle of Shewan.


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