COLUMBUS, Ohio - On Dec. 13, 2013 in front of friends, family and
fellow Marines from Company L, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment,
former Marine Cpl. Tim Padgett was awarded the Bronze Star Medal
with Combat "V" device at the Marine Corps Reserve Center in
Columbus, Ohio, for actions during the Vietnam War.
U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Daniel Campos, the company commander for
Company L, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment and U.S. Marine Corps
1st Sgt. Robert Waltz, the company first sergeant, award the Bronze
Star Medal with Combat "V" device to Tim Padgett during a ceremony
at the Marine Reserve Center in Columbus, Ohio Dec. 13, 2013.
Padgett, a Vietnam War-era Marine, earned the award for actions
during combat. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Tyler Hlavac)
According to his citation, then 22-year-old New
Lexington, Ohio native Cpl. Padgett, who was a squad leader
with Co. D, 1st Bn., 7th Marines, was leading his rifle
squad on a patrol April 26, 1967, when they were ambushed by
a superior enemy force.
The initial volley of fire
wounded the point man. The squad corpsman, Theodore Knox,
attempted to render aid to the point man and was then also
wounded by enemy fire.
“We got overrun that
night, lost a lot of guys,” said Padgett, describing the
battle. “Sometimes you think of (combat) as just another day
at the office. They shoot at us, we shoot at them and you
call it day. This was not a ‘call it a day'.”
deploying his squad to engage with the enemy, Padgett, while
under enemy fire, ran forward to retrieve the wounded Knox.
With the assistance of another Marine, Padgett was able to
carry Knox to a waiting helicopter where he then received
lifesaving medical treatment. Afterwards, Padgett's squad
managed to resist the enemy long enough for reinforcements
Padgett never received an award for his
actions that day.
“No one in Vietnam...the last thing
they thought about was medals,” said Padgett. “You did not
even think about that kind of stuff. The fact that none were
given out did not mean anything to us.”
of an award never came up again until 2003 when the company
had their first reunion. At that point, Padgett and Knox had
not met since 1967; in fact Padgett did not even know that
Knox had survived that day.
During one of the annual
reunions, Knox found out that Padgett never received an
award for his actions that day and took it upon himself to
rectify the mistake.
Knox began gathering witnesses
and documentation needed to make a case for an award. Over
the course of four years the award package eventually made
its way to the Secretary of the Navy, who approved the award
for Padgett on Oct. 1, 2013.
After the ceremony, the
now 67-year old Padgett expressed his feelings on receiving
“It's a hard thing,” said Padgett. “It is
an emotional thing. I was very nervous about getting the
award. When you stand up there and listen to someone read
the citation you are almost embarrassed.”
dedicated much time and effort to ensure Padgett was
properly awarded, was glad to see his efforts pay off.
“I would be dead if it was not for those two men,” said
Knox, an Oak Grove, Mo. native. “That is an absolute fact. I
honestly am so relieved. That is the only term I can use. I
thank God it's over and it is giving back for what they have
By USMC Sgt. Tyler Hlavac
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