He risked life for his Marines
Capt. Jason Schauble and his men
knew exactly what they needed to
do: Enter and gain a foothold inside
an insurgent-controlled farmhouse.
the 4th Platoon of 1st Marine Division,
2nd Force Reconnaissance Company
came under intense fire from the
Iraqi insurgents in January 2005,
and one Marine was killed.
Schauble, deciding what to do was
simple. He had no idea his choice
would later earn him the military’s
third-highest award for valor in
did what I did at the time because
I thought it was the right thing
at the time,” Schauble said
Friday morning after an awards ceremony
in his honor at Camp Lejeune. “It’s
never been about me.”
men had already pulled back to set
up a barricade and were reorganizing
for a second assault. Sensing his
Marines were in danger, Schauble
did what he says any Marine would.
went alone into the darkened room
to recover the fallen Marine. Insurgents
fired upon Schauble from less than
6 feet away.
moved deeper into the room and killed
two insurgents before receiving
wounds that would cause him to medically
retire this week. Schauble, 31,
was shot twice in the forearm and
once in the chest, which was protected
by his body armor.
don’t have full use of my
right hand,” Schauble said
as he attempted to stretch out fingers
that seemed as if they were restricted
by thick wire.
being injured, Schauble stayed in
what he described as “the
middle of the night in the fire,”
drawing the insurgents’ attention
— and ammunition — toward
his life to protect his Marines,”
according to the citation for one
award he received Friday, Schauble’s
actions allowed his men to move
in and kill five insurgents.
as “instrumental” in
the stand-up of the Marine Forces
Special Operations Command, Schauble
became the 66th Marine to receive
a Silver Star since the war in Iraq
began. He also received a Bronze
Star with V device for valor and
a Meritorious Service Medal before
his medical retirement Friday.
where do we get these Marines?”
asked Maj. Gen. Dennis Hejlik, commander
of Marines Forces Special Operations
Command, after reading a letter
describing how Shauble subjected
himself to heavy enemy fire and
continued to lead his Marines despite
severe loss of blood, nerve damage
and shock. “We get them right
here … the Corps is better
because you served.”
awarded the Bronze Star to Schauble
for combat operations in Iraq in
2004 when he was “instrumental”
in planning and implementing his
combat team’s successful seizure
of Hit and Fallujah.
regularly exposed himself to enemy
fire to load and direct his Marines,
including effective fire on the
enemy,” the Bronze Star citation
Navy Corpsmen: A Marine's Best Friend
corpsmen warned me the air would be thin
up there, but I didn’t notice. This
was my first combat patrol and like a child
trapped in the dark, I was petrified.
The shoestring-narrow roads
around the 6,000-foot mountains of Torkhem,
Afghanistan make the battle-hardened Marines
I was embedded with something the Taliban
doesn’t – nervous.
The drivers, behaving more
like tightrope walkers than desert warriors,
eased their Humvees along the trails with
one eye on the path and the other pragmatically
scanning the limitless caves and nomad populations
for the enemy.
I didn’t move –
not a millimeter – while we climbed
along paths so narrow that I honestly thought
if I breathed too hard I’d tip us
over the side, plummeting us more than a
mile down to certain death.
I didn’t breathe.
I didn’t blink. I waited for Taliban
to ambush us from behind every rock, and
there were a lot of rocks.
HN “Doc” Joseph
Nededog, noticed my white knuckles.
“You know, I’ve
been waiting for months for one of those
goats to fall off the side of these mountains,”
Nededog quipped. “They never do,”
he said with a grin. I smiled, and finally
That's what “Docs”
do. They make everyone comfortable, a when
you’re a corpsman for Marines in the
heart of insurgent country, helping a photojournalist
keep his lunch down and his lungs working
is an easy day.
Nededog has seen worse.
After all, it wasn’t
the enemy that made these combat veterans
slow their pace, and rightfully so. It was
Afghanistan itself, not the besieged Taliban,
that claimed 3rd Platoon’s first soul
in a Humvee rollover less than a month before
Doc Nededog rolled that
day too; still, he managed to treat his
turret gunner who lay motionless, crushed
between his weapon and the callous Afghanistan
desert floor. It wasn’t enough. Third
Platoon lost a Marine that day. Losing any
Marine is terrible, but to these Marines,
all Marines, the thought of losing a corpsman
how much Marines love their corpsmen... Read