Chaos, destruction, and loss of human lives were certainly the end result of wars as severe as those in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, certain stories stemming from those tragedies still manage to get to us in the hope of something better to come.
The story of former Cpl. Clifford Wooldridge, a Marine who was deployed in Afghanistan, took everyone’s breath away. Namely, he was awarded the Navy Cross for his yearlong service.
Back then, Wooldridge’s patrol was heavily attacked by Taliban forces in Afghanistan, but the way he carried himself during the attacks is what brought him the much-deserved praise.
Corporal Wooldridge decided to lead his team into the open fire in order to confront the enemy, an action in which at least eight were killed or injured, while the others ran for their lives. and forcing the rest to scatter. “As he held security alone to cover his fire team’s withdrawal, he heard voices from behind an adjacent wall,” the citation for his Navy Cross read.
Wooldridge managed to take down two more fighters, using his M-249. But, this was merely the start of it.
“As he crouched back behind the wall to reload, he saw the barrel of an enemy machine gun appear from around the wall. Without hesitation, he dropped his empty weapon and seized the machine gun barrel,” the citation recounted. “He overwhelmed the enemy fighter in hand-to-hand combat, killing him with several blows to the head with the enemy’s own machine gun.”
So basically, he managed to kill an enemy by using his own weapon. Well, that certainly screams bravery in our heads.
Reports focused on capturing the emotional state among the Talibani at that very moment:
“It absolutely crushed their morale,” stated Wooldridge’s platoon commander, Marine Capt. Patrick Madden. “They had no idea what happened to them.”
In 2012, Wooldridge officially received the Navy Cross. Wooldridge was done with his service in 2016, which only speaks of his continuous commitment to the military and America.
The story ought to serve as a reminder that if you love your country enough, no mountain will ever be high enough for you.
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