Wounded Warrior Honored In Front Of Marine Family
(January 17, 2011)
Corporal Jonathan Dowdell received the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat distinguishing Device in front of his former unit, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Jan. 7, 2011.
||MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS,
Calif., (MCN - 1/14/2011) — Although Cpl. Jonathan Dowdell
was confined to a wheelchair, it was his bravery and
relentless optimism that made him stand out among the
Marines and sailors of his former unit, Company K, 3rd
Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, as he accepted his Navy
Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat Distinguishing
Device Jan. 7, 2011.
While conducting clearing
operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom June
23rd 2010, Dowdell stepped on an improvised explosive device
while trying to gain access to a suspected bomb
manufacturing facility causing the loss of both legs and
nearly his life, his citation read.
“I remember most
of it,” said the 24-year-old Decatur, Ill., native, after
the ceremony at the 3/7 barracks. “I remember the blast and
the quick response of all the guys around me. They did what
they needed to do, put tourniquets on me and got me out of
Despite the quick reaction of his comrades,
the loss of blood was so great that Dowdell required two
massive blood transfusions during his medical evacuation.
“There's no question that they saved my life,” he
said. “I feel blessed. The fact that I am here, it could
have gone either way.”
The trip from the Wounded
Warrior Battalion in San Diego to his former unit aboard the
Combat Center was well worth the trip, said Dowdell.
Having the very same Marines and sailors who saved his
life at the
|ceremony made the day
just that much sweeter, he said.
“It was nice to see everyone again,” he said.
“It's tough being in San Diego, to be away from everyone.
3/7 just has a lot of camaraderie. We forged a tight bond
over there.” |
“Once in Kilo, always in Kilo,” said
Capt. James Lindler, the company commander of Co. K after
pinning the green and orange medal to Dowdell's chest. “It
is a great honor to have him with us today. From Bethesda to
the Wounded Warrior Battalion, observers have noted his
determination, his positive attitude and the way he tries to
inspire other wounded Marines to stay in the fight.”
After the brief ceremony, his former unit gathered
around to offer their congratulations, but more so to catch
up, exchange a few jokes and remember the times they had
together. Dowdell stated proudly that he will always be a
part of Co. K.
For now, Dowdell is continuing his
rehabilitation in San Diego, where he is learning to walk
again using two new prosthetic limbs.
positive is the only way to be. You're not going to get
anywhere by kicking yourself in the head,” he said.
For some, Dowdell's injuries might have embittered them
towards the Marine Corps, but Dowdell said his outlook has
“Every person I've met, either
prior service or active duty, gives me a phone number and
tells me if I need anything to give them a call,” he said.
“Everyone has been willing to help wherever they can.”
It's that caring family attitude from others and his
positive outlook that keeps the smile on his face today.
Dowdell said it is that same optimism that will strengthen
his steps so one day he might be returned to active duty.
Article and photo by USMC Cpl. Andrew S. Avitt|
Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms
Marine Corps News
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