Profiles of Valor: U.S. Army Sgt. Benjamin Marshall

U.S. Army Sergeant Benjamin Marshall was on a house-clearing mission in Tharthar, Iraq, in July 2006 when he and two fellow soldiers came under enemy fire. The two men on point were Staff Sergeant Christopher Schroeder and Sergeant William Wills. Schroeder was hit with two AK-47 rounds in the surprise attack and along with Wills he took cover in a room of the farmhouse. Marshall and the Iraqi interpreter managed to get out of the house unseen, but Marshall knew his comrades were in trouble without his help.

Jul. 11, 2010

U.S. Army Sergeant Benjamin Marshall was on a house-clearing mission in Tharthar, Iraq, in July 2006 when he and two fellow soldiers came under enemy fire. The two men on point were Staff Sergeant Christopher Schroeder and Sergeant William Wills. Schroeder was hit with two AK-47 rounds in the surprise attack and along with Wills he took cover in a room of the farmhouse. Marshall and the Iraqi interpreter managed to get out of the house unseen, but Marshall knew his comrades were in trouble without his help.

He took up a position in a ramshackle chicken coop nearby in order to direct fire at the al-Qa'ida fighters. His counterattack spared Wills and Schroeder, though Marshall didn’t know for sure as he could only hear gunfire and jihadis chanting. Soon, a Humvee with backup arrived. Marshall shouted an alert to them of the situation, but that gave away his position and he immediately started taking fire. The diversion was just what Marshall hoped for, however, and with the Humvee’s help, he was able to get close to the house and evacuate Wills and Schroeder.

In July 2007, Marshall was awarded the Bronze Star with combat “V” for valor.

(This account was originally published in the April 11, 2008 Digest.)

It's Right. It's Free.