View Full Version : Marine Runs to The Sound of Gunfire

01-04-07, 09:49 AM
Marine Runs to The Sound of Gunfire

by Lance Cpl. Erik Villagran

Cpl. Obery J. McPherson, known as "Mac," to his friends, isn't afraid of putting himself in the middle of a firefight when his Marines lives are in danger.

McPherson, a 23-year-old mortarman from Charleston, S.C., ran from one post to another to engage the enemy while the Gharmah Iraqi Police Station was being attacked.

"Two of my lance corporals saw something suspicious in the market," Obery said. "I went over to their post and saw a guy digging in the market trying to plant an IED (improvised explosive device)."

McPherson radioed in what he saw and two Marine snipers were sent to engage the threat. The snipers identified the man placing the IED and aimed in.

"A sniper was about to take a shot when the guy jumped into a car and drove away," said Lance Cpl. Donterry L. Woods, a 22-year-old mortarman from Jacksonville, Fla. "Then we started receiving heavy machine-gun fire from the north."

Marines identified the rounds were coming from two men on one rooftop and another man on a different roof.

They began to fire at the men on the rooftops. McPherson fired five grenades from his M-203 grenade launcher while the other Marines fired their rifles and machine guns.

Soon after Marines eliminated the threat on the rooftops they were attacked from a building across the street from them, McPherson said. They began to fire at insurgents through the doors and windows of the structure.

"As we were shooting I looked up; they were getting a lot of rounds around their post," McPherson said. "I ran to the rooftop to help them out."

As he made his way to the rooftop, a rocket-propelled grenade flew over his head and impacted one of the posts. He got to one of the fortified posts and began to support them.

"We were taking fire from three guys behind a rock pile," said Lance Cpl. Ronald A. McPartland, a 20-year-old mortarman from Waverly, Tenn. "While I engaged them "Mac" shot an M-203 round at them."

After they fired on the men behind the rubble, Marines began to receive fire from another building. They redirected their attack to muzzle flashes coming from the building. They continued to shoot until "cease fire" was called.

Once the shooting stopped, McPherson went to each post to ensure that his Marines were fine.

"I just wanted to make sure my Marines were fine," McPherson said. "I wanted to make sure there were no casualties."

The firefight left the Marines undaunted. They said they were not alarmed by the situation because their instincts took over.

"There wasn't too much thinking during the firefight," Woods said. "We just did what we were trained to do."

McPherson was pleased with how his Marines reacted to the firefight. They gained positive identification and aimed in to shoot to kill.

"They reacted pretty good," McPherson said. "They established PID and tried to eliminate the threat. Everybody did their job without having to be told."