View Full Version : Hero honored

04-26-06, 03:32 PM
Hero honored
Navy corpsman, injured after suicide attack in Iraq, provided care to fellow corpsmen and Marines

By Ralph Zahorik

Navy corpsman Aragorn Wold was relaxing between patrols at a forward base of his unit, the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, in a four-story building in the city of Hit, Iraq, last September when the building was rocked by explosions.

Two suicide bombers drove into the base. The explosion of one vehicle, a truck, wrecked the battalion aid station on the first floor. Four Navy corpsmen on duty, including Wold, were wounded. Wold was knocked unconscious.

After the explosion, insurgents on nearby rooftops opened fire with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and small arms. More than a dozen Marines and Iraqi security forces were wounded and eight civilians were killed, according to a Marines Corps account of the attack.

When Wold regained consciousness "he immediately provided care to his fellow corpsmen and Marines," according to a Red Cross citation. "He helped set up a temporary medical aid area and casualty collection point."

"Refusing evacuation and exposing himself to small arms fire, Aragorn maneuvered throughout the base, treating wounded Marines and Iraqi security force personnel as they repulsed the attack," the citation states.

Wold received the Purple Heart.

Wold, now 23 and assigned to Great Lakes Naval Hospital and living in Kenosha, is one of 14 Chicago area men and women being honored as heroes by the American Red Cross.

"Wold's heroism during the Sept. 4 attack showed a true selflessness and dedication to duty," said Francesca Maher, CEO of the American Red Cross, in a statement.

Wold, interviewed last week at Great Lakes, was modest about what he did. He said his wounds, described as a "Grade 3 concussion" and multiple lacerations, "weren't that bad."

Wold is from Greensboro, N.C. Friends call him Thor, his middle name. He joined the Navy in 2004 and went to Iraq with the 25th Marines, a reserve unit based in Ohio, in January 2005. He returned to Great Lakes last October and said he expects to re-enlist.

Hit is along the Euphrates River in Anwar Province, about 85 miles west of Baghdad. Bases and units in the area are frequent targets of attack. According to the 3rd Battalion's Web site, 48 of its members and attached personnel were killed in action during the battalion seven-month deployment in Iraq in last year.

Wold and 13 other Chicago area residents will be recognized April 27 at the fourth annual Red Cross Heroes Awards event, a breakfast in the Hyatt Regency hotel in Chicago.