Real American Hero: Sergeant Major Bradley Kasal Earned the Navy Cross in Iraq After He Was Hit 7 Times by Enemey Fire
Real American Hero: Sergeant Major Bradley Kasal Earned the Navy Cross in Iraq After He Was Hit 7 Times by Enemey Fire and Used His Body to Shield Comrades from a Grenade Blast
Actions in Iraq
In a fire fight in a house in Fallujah, although wounded by seven7.62x39mm AK-47 rounds and hit by more than 43 pieces of hot fragmentation from a grenade while using his body to shield an injured fellow Marine, Kasal refused to quit fighting and is credited with saving the lives of several Marines during the U.S. assault on insurgent strongholds in Fallujah in November 2004.
By the time he was carried out of the house by LCpl Chris Marquez and LCpl Dane Shaffer, Kasal had lost approximately 60 percent of his blood. The photograph of Kasal, taken by photographer Lucian Read — blood-soaked and still holding his M9 pistol andKA-Bar fighting knife — being helped from the building by fellow Marines, has become one of the iconic pictures of the war.
Due to the injuries, Kasal lost four inches of bone in his right leg. Kasal has undergone 21 surgeries to date in order to repair his injuries and save his leg.Kasal continues his recovery from his wounds and still walks with a limp.
Sergeant Major Kasal served as the Sergeant Major of Recruiting Station Des Moines, Iowa from May 2006 until January 2010. He then returned to Camp Pendleton to serve as the Sergeant Major at the School of Infantry West In March 2010, Kasal was featured in the debut episode of Sharing the Courage, a graphic novel series depicting decorated Marines of the 21st century.