Friday morning, I interviewed Lance Cpl. Jeffrey Cole, the Marine Corps’ newest Silver Star recipient. He received the award Tuesday at Camp Lejeune, N.C., for heroism in Marjah, Afghanistan, on Aug. 17, 2010.
Cole’s actions speak for themselves. As a machine gunner with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, he took an M240B machine gun from a fellow Marine who was wounded, abandoning cover to engage insurgents who were less than 100 meters away. He was eventually shot twice in the arm, leaving him gushing blood from his brachial artery.
The Marine Corps released its account of the firefight here, and my own is posted here. However, it’s also noteworthy that the Corps released the photograph above.
Chilling, isn’t it? It’s posted online, and published along with the Corps’ account of the battle. It was taken minutes after Cole was shot.
I’ve posted the photo here on Battle Rattle because I think it’s important that images like these get the attention and discussion they deserve. It certainly highlights the ordeal that Cole and his fellow Marines endured.
Sir: your integrity,courage,and valor is what we should all aspire to. God bless you and yours!
Any word on who took the picture? The DVIDS story says the patrol went out with the intention of photographing the local area. I wonder if this was a Combat Camera Marine.
Regardless, this shows the value that having Marines out front taking pictures and writing stories can provide. The story of the patrol is impactful, but unfortunately most Americans will not take the time to read it. The picture immediately grabs the reader’s attention and conveys the seriousness of the incident. This is a positive example of the second and third order effects of a decision to allow a Marine to join a patrol and document the action.