Monday, February 11, 2008

LCpl Harper receives the Bronze Star

As most of you know, Taylor spent a week at Camp Lejeune and got to do some outstanding and amazing things. Throughout the week, she had 2 wounded warriors that were able to 'shadow' her and they were able to do the things she did. It was really cool for them and for her to be with them.

Taylor's school library gets the magazine Leatherneck and she always checks it out. She got off the bus this week running wildly to the house. She threw open the magazine and here was a picture of one of the wounded warriors she spent the whole week with, LCpl Harper.

Here is the article: (sorry I have to type it out, but if I try to scan it, it doesn't show up, I am not that computer savy remember?)

Decorated Lance Corporal's Advice:
Don't Panic, Follow Orders, Do What You Are Told.

Lance Corporal Albert R Harper, a vehicle operator with the 3d Battalion, Sixth Marine Regiment, Second Marine Division, Regimental Combat Team 6, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), was awarded the Bronze Star medal with combat "V" at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Aug.23, 2007, for heroism and courage while under fire. He also was presented the Purple Heart for wounds suffered while conducting combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom Feb. 16, 2007.

Harper was leaving Camp Corregidor, near Ramadi, Iraq, when an 82 mm mortar round hit his vehicle.

"The mortar round struck the roof of the vehicle just behind the driver's seat," Harper said. "It sent shrapnel rounds through the vehicle and through my right shoulder blade all the way to my right arm."

In the attack, the convoy's leader, Captain Todd Seibert, was killed, which forced the the battalion gunner to take charge. After the attack, Harper's battalion gunner assessed the situation and instructed him to take over the controls and drive the vehicle.

Harper drove the vehicle an additional three kilometers through hostile urban terrain to evacuate several remaining injured Marines despite being in tremendous pain and rapidly losing blood and consciousness.

Harper gave advice for Marines preparing to deploy and about facing challening situations. "Remain calm no matter what," he said. "Panic is not the answer. Follow orders and do what you are told."

Brigadier General David H. Berger, assistant division commander of 2dMarDiv, pinned the medals on Harper. "No Marines that get awarded medals of valor or Purple Hearts ask for it," the general explained. "At the right time and the wrong place, they took the right action."

Taylor and I had the great pleasure of being with this young man for a week and he was so nice and kind. He was quiet, but he was wonderful to be around. To LCpl Harper, OOH RAH and Semper Fi from the Gunny!

1 comment:

Miriah shaw said...

I came across this while doing some searches on the Bronze Star Medal. Ryan Harper is my "little" brother and I am so proud of him. Taylor is right on- Ryan is quiet and has such a good heart. Thank you for taking time to write about him.
-Miriah (Harper) Shaw