Marine Thanks God For Life; Speechless For Purple Heart
(October 24, 2010)
|CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (MCN - 10/19/2010) — “For some reason that week, things took a lot longer than they normally would,” recalled Lance Cpl. Roddra Malone. “I felt something was wrong in my spirit.”|
|July 21, 2010, Malone and his fellow motor transport Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 6, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), were conducting a combat logistics patrol in the vicinity of Now Zad, Afghanistan, while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.|
Malone was assigned as a driver during the mission and was responsible for refueling vehicles.
“We refueled three trucks and there was a gap about 50-meters between me and the next truck,” he remembered. “[My sergeant] told me to get back in the truck
Lance Cpl. Roddra Malone, a motor transportation operator with Combat Logistics Battalion 6, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), receives the Purple Heart medal from Brig. Gen. Michael Dana, the commanding general, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Oct. 18, 2010. Malone stood proudly to receive his medal three months after the doctors told him he may never walk again.
|and pull up ... he told me to stay in the tracks. Those were his last words to me.”|
|Malone took his parking brake off.|
“My truck rolled not even an inch and that's when ... ‘boom!'” he said. “I went out and I remember when I woke up, I couldn't feel my legs so I thought my legs were gone and I started screaming ... I was screaming my sergeant's name. I raised my head to look up and when I saw him he was crawling. He looked like he didn't have any skin on his hands. Then I passed back out.”
When Malone awoke again he was in a hospital at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. The doctors told him he'd never walk again; his spine was fractured.
“I started to cry a little bit and I asked the Lord to help me because I knew he could do it,” he said. “A couple hours later, for some reason I felt like I could walk.”
Malone asked the doctors to take off his neck and back brace.
“I stuck my foot out and I stood up holding onto the bed and as I released the bed I had a whole bunch of pain that shot through my body so I fell back down on the bed.”
After thirty minutes he tried again.
“So I stuck my left leg out first, then my right leg and I stood up. I had pain, excruciating pain, but I said ‘I can do this.' Then I took my first step and I said ‘yeah I can do this.' I took my second step. I took my third. Everybody started clapping and I felt good. I just thank God today that I'm here.”
Only three months later on Oct. 18, Lance Cpl. Malone stood before his family and fellow Marines to receive the Purple Heart medal during a ceremony here.
“I'm speechless,” he said. “At first I didn't know I was going to get it ... It's something that I don't want but at the same time I want it [to be able to show] and to tell stories about what I've been through and what I've done. I want to help other Marines that haven't been there yet but are going to go. So I feel pretty good.”
|Article and photo by Cpl. M. Foster|
2nd Marine Logistics Group Public Affairs
Reprinted from Marine Corps News
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