On Thursday a Marine is scheduled to be presented with the Silver Star, by Assistant Commandant General Glenn Walters at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms in California.
Initially awarded the Bronze Star for the heroic feat that occurred in Iraq more than a decade ago, Captain Andre Kim will be upgraded after the Pentagon reviewed almost 1,500 combat valor awards recently.
Here’s what the brave leatherneck did in saving a man’s life — via the Marine Corps Times:
A sergeant at the time, Kim was on a mission on Aug. 6, 2003, when an Iraqi man shot the linguist in the neck, the news release says. Kim killed the attacker, but small-arms fire erupted from the rear and Kim was hit several times.
Disregarding his own wounds, Kim grabbed the linguist and helped him into a vehicle, the news release says. They drove off but five Iraqis in a white pickup truck gave chase while firing at their vehicle.
After linking up with other Marines, Kim ordered a counter-attack that killed his pursuers, the news release says.
“Kim reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service,” read a statement from the branch.
Linguists, also known as interpreters, played an essential role in Iraq, as they still do today, in the Middle East and around the world.
Not only do they put their lives on the line but, in Iraq, they were often targets of the coalition’s enemies.
“Insurgency groups used to stop vehicles and check passengers, and if they found out that there is a ‘terp, they used to kidnap then kill him,” said one former linguist from Baghdad, to NBC News.