Sometimes, it takes months for U.S. troops to talk publicly about their own heroism. Take the case of Cpl. Winder Perez, for example.
The 22-year-old Marine sustained a life-threatening wound from a rocket-propelled grenade in Afghanistan on Jan. 12, but survived when the ordnance didn’t explode. His life still hung in the balance, though — the wounds were serious, and the possibility of the RPG exploding while embedded in him remained.
That’s the story the military shared in a news release it produced last week. It credited an New Mexico National Guard helicopter crew with risking their lives to rush him to help at Forward Operating Base Edinburgh and Navy Lt. Cmdr. James Gennari with treating him medically. Army Staff. Sgt. Benjamin Summerfield, an explosive ordnance disposal specialist, removed the RPG from Perez’s body.
The helicopter crew included Capt. Kevin Doo, Sgt. Robert Hardisty and Spc. Mark Edens. The Captain James Lovell Federal Health Care Center Home, where Gennari is based, released video of the RPG being removed from Perez. Watch it here: