A Camp Pendleton, California Marine was awarded the nation’s third highest award for personal heroism in a combat situation, as reported by both The Marine Corps Times and The San Diego Union Tribune on Jan. 7, 2014.
While assigned to Combat Support Adviser Team, Regimental Combat Team 6 in July of 2012, Staff Sergeant Timothy Williams was on a joint patrol with four other Marines and 11 Afghan soldiers in search of a Taliban weapons cache when they were ambushed by 20-35 Taliban insurgents.
Roughly two hours in an intense fire fight, Team Leader SSgt. Jason Pennock was hit by Taliban fire in the leg, the force of which spun him into a canal ditch.
Not just shot in the leg, but with his femur shattered, SSgt. Pennock tied off his own tourniquet, yet admittedly struggled to keep his head above water.
Seeing his fellow Teufelhunden wounded, SSgt. Williams sprinted over 60 years of open ground and Taliban gunfire to personally rescue Pennock.
It was then that the father of two lifted not only the 190-pound Pennock, but also the 100 pounds worth of his “deuce gear” (Marine slang for war fighting equipment) strapped to him.
Not counting his own war gear, SSgt Williams managed to carry nearly 300 pounds over his shoulders more than 300 yards to a helicopter med-evac, all the while being shot at.
“It was exhausting,” the Michigan native said. “It was probably one of the hardest things I ever did.”
But Wait, There’s More…
Not quite done yet, SSgt Williams returned to the ambush site and took charge.
While leading his team over a mile and a half miles to rescue another group of troops pinned down, the Silver Star recipient personally arranged the opportunity for five Taliban terrorists the opportunity to meet Mohammed face-to-face.
Once the two units linked, SSgt Williams established a defensive perimeter and after 10 hours of continuous combat, the enemy was finally repulsed.
Or as the Marine Corps officially stated in the citation:
He led his element to effectively neutralize numerous Taliban positions and an estimated 20 Taliban fighters.