Saturday, August 22, 2009

Twentynine Palms rifleman receives Navy Cross

By Denise Goolsby - The (Palm Springs, Calif.) Desert Sun via Gannett News Service
Posted : Friday Aug 21, 2009 17:01:59 EDT

A 20-year-old Marine was awarded one of the Navy’s highest awards for valor during a ceremony Thursday at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Cpl. Richard S. Weinmaster of Cozad, Neb., received the Navy Cross for his actions in combat July 8, 2008, in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

The Navy Cross is the second-highest award for valor and the highest given by the Navy.

The citation accompanying the award described Weinmaster’s actions during enemy combat: “While on a dismounted patrol, Weinmaster’s squad was ambushed by enemy forces. Weinmaster used his body to shield both his fire team leader and several other Marines from the blast of an enemy grenade.

“Although he was seriously injured, Weinmaster continued to carry out the attack, engaging enemy forces with accurate automatic weapons fire and forcing them to break contact before collapsing from the gravity of his wounds.”

Weinmaster is an automatic rifleman with 3rd Platoon, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.

His decorations include the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal.

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