Marine Awarded Navy Cross in Twentynine Palms
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
A true American hero honored Friday at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms
Sergeant Clifford Wooldridge was awarded one of the military's highest honors, the Navy Cross.
Sergeant Clifford Wooldridge joins an elite group of Marines honored for their valor with a Navy Cross.
The 24-year-old Marine received the award because of his courage on June 18th, 2010 in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.
"Nobody cared about personal risk, they just wanted to make sure their buddies got back," said Sgt. Wooldridge.
The Under Secretary of the Navy presented the Navy Cross to Sergeant Wooldridge in front of his family, and thousands of marines.
"This particular description of this action and the things that Sgt. Wooldridge did, just send chills down my spine. It's just an unbelievable act of courage and selflessness, not only did he maneuver against an enemy, and disperse them saving the Marines in his squad, but he covered the withdrawal of his own fire team, all of them, and all alone he confronted three Taliban and overcame all three of them," said the Honorable Robert Work, Under Secretary of the Navy.
Sergeant Wooldridge even killed an enemy fighter after he ran out of ammunition.
"Figured since I was out of ammo, and he had a machine gun, that I was done, but I wasn't going out without a fight," said Sgt. Wooldridge.
Wooldridge's mother, Tammi Wooldridge, was shocked when she heard the story.
"It was like an out-of-body experience, I couldn't believe it that it was my son that went through that, and I started crying," said Tammi.
Now her son is honored for his leadership, and courage under fire.
"When you really do the research on the Navy Cross, and realize that not very many are given out you know, its just, I'm just so proud and honored," said Tammi.
The Navy Cross is second only to the Medal of Honor, only 31 Navy Crosses have been given out since Iraq and Afghanistan.
But Sgt. Wooldridge says he doesn't consider this Navy Cross a personal award.
"It goes out to my unit 3-7, and for all the guys that didn't get any recognition at all for their actions, definitely its for them, also for my buddies that didn't make it back," said Sgt. Wooldridge.