Marine Receives Bronze Star For ‘Heroic Actions'
(October 13, 2010)
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan (Oct. 3, 2010) - As bullets whizzed past, Gunnery Sgt. Eric J.
Fears knew one thing; he had to continue with the mission even though two of
his Marines had just been killed by an improvised explosive device. He
showed his Marines that they had to keep fighting, and they did.
On Oct. 3, Fears was presented with a Bronze Star Medal with Combat
Distinguishing Device for his heroic actions on that day in Jan. 2009 as a
squad leader with 3d Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment in support of Operation
After the deadly IED attack, Fears managed to stay calm and focused despite
being under heavy small arms fire and indirect fire from an entrenched
enemy. The mission at hand and recovering the bodies of his two men became
“Two of my Marines were hit with an IED,” said Fears, now the staff
non-commissioned officer in charge of Bridge Platoon, Alpha Company, 9th
Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward). “We were
taking a lot of fire, but we made sure to get them back.”
Fears encouraged his Marines to keep fighting even though they lost two of
their own. Through his courage, he set the example for his Marines.
Lt. Col. Ted A. Adams (left), the commanding officer of
9th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), presents
the Bronze Star to Gunnery Sgt. Eric J. Fears, the staff non-commissioned
officer in charge of Bridge Platoon, Alpha Company, 9th ESB, 1st MLG (FWD), at
Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Oct. 3, 2010. Fears, 34, from Blue Ridge, Ga.,
received the award for his strong leadership while conducting counter improvised
explosive device operations while supporting the International Security
Assistance Forces in Afghanistan.
“On that day, he showed his Marines it takes good leadership and a lot of
courage to continue on with the mission,” said First Sgt. Lawrence D. Wei, the
Alpha Co. first sergeant with 9th ESB, 1st MLG (FWD).
Fears is a strong leader who adds a great amount of skill to the Marines of 9th
ESB through his vast experience and knowledge.
“He's experienced,” said Wei. “He has had seven deployments, and he has been in
division and now he's in MLG. You don't really find all the qualifications he
has in everyone.”
Fears' solid character, which makes him successful in the Marine Corps, does not
go unnoticed by those he serves under.
“He's very calm, patient and firm,” said Wei. “Everything that makes him a good
Marine was required of him that day.”
Fears accepted the award, but passed the credit to his Marines.
“I'm honored, very honored,” said Fears from Blue Ridge, Ga., “I earned this for
when I was attached to 3/8, and my Marines were on the front lines and were
finding a lot of IEDs. I wear this Bronze Star not just for myself, but all the
engineers that were with me at the time.”
Article and photo by USMC LCpl. Kenneth Jasik
1st Marine Logistics Group Public Affairs
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