Face of Defense: Marine Recalls Bomb Blast

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C., Oct. 25, 2011 — As a teenag­er work­ing on farms and in con­struc­tion in his home­town of Urbana, Ohio, Marine Corps Capt. Chase B. Wheel­er nev­er thought he’d one day be a Marine com­bat vet­er­an and Pur­ple Heart recip­i­ent.

Wheeler’s blue-col­lar work eth­ic gave him the dri­ve to work hard. After high school, he earned a degree in con­struc­tion man­age­ment and min­ing. It was while play­ing foot­ball for More­head State Uni­ver­si­ty that Wheel­er decid­ed he want­ed to fight for the Unit­ed States.

“I did­n’t want to be 55 say­ing, ‘I wish I would have done this.’ It was my oblig­a­tion to fight for my coun­try, because there was a fight to be had,” said Wheel­er, exec­u­tive offi­cer of Com­pa­ny C, 2nd Com­bat Engi­neer Bat­tal­ion, 2nd Marine Divi­sion here.

Mil­i­tary ser­vice runs in Wheeler’s fam­i­ly. His father served as an Army staff sergeant. His grand­fa­ther is a World War II vet­er­an, and his great-grand­fa­ther fought in the Span­ish-Amer­i­can War.

“Being around vet­er­ans — it was kind of set I would serve in some sort,” Wheel­er said.

In Afghanistan, Wheel­er led Marines in clear­ing road­side bombs from con­voy routes and build­ing com­bat out­posts. While on patrol dur­ing his first deploy­ment, Wheel­er was wound­ed by an impro­vised explo­sive device blast.

“I’m for­tu­nate to be alive,” he said. “Makes you real­ize the impor­tance in life — fam­i­ly and friends.”

Wheeler’s fight­ing spir­it was undi­min­ished. In Feb­ru­ary 2011, Wheel­er deployed again with 2nd CEB.

Marine Corps Capt. John E. Shubeck, Wheeler’s com­pa­ny com­man­der, noticed Wheeler’s courage dur­ing one mis­sion in par­tic­u­lar.

“We were in com­bat dur­ing the whole oper­a­tion,” Shubeck said. “Mul­ti­ple times he stood out from the side of a vehi­cle with binoc­u­lars to draw fire behind tree lines and deter­mine where the fire was com­ing from. It was suc­cess­ful. We were able to bring air [sup­port] on sta­tion and break up the ene­my assault.”

Wheeler’s father and fel­low Marines from Afghanistan were present Oct. 3 when he was award­ed the Pur­ple Heart and pro­mot­ed to cap­tain.

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →