Face of Defense: Sailor Earns Bronze Star

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — A Navy corps­man did­n’t expect hun­dreds of Marines clad in cam­ou­flage util­i­ties to fill an entire field house just for him –- but they did.
Navy Sea­man Matthew A. Dish­mon, a corps­man with 3rd Bat­tal­ion, 6th Marine Reg­i­ment, 2nd Marine Divi­sion, received the Bronze Star medal with com­bat dis­tin­guish­ing device dur­ing a Feb. 25 cer­e­mo­ny here. Dish­mon was hon­ored for sav­ing the life of a Marine last year dur­ing com­bat in Mar­jah, Afghanistan.

“I could­n’t believe all those peo­ple were there and I did­n’t know [until now] how big of a deal it real­ly was,” Dish­mon said about his award cer­e­mo­ny. “I felt like I was just doing my job.”

Dishmon’s unit was ambushed while on patrol. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Matthew T. Ear­le, an assault gun­ner, was shot before he could seek cov­er. Dish­mon exposed him­self to ene­my machine gun fire to move Ear­le away from dan­ger and treat his wounds.

“Ear­le and I were in the back of the patrol,” Dish­mon recalled. “Ear­le did­n’t make it across before he got hit in the mid­dle of the road.

“It was dark and you could see machine-gun trac­ers fly by,” he con­tin­ued. “I yelled to the guys [to let them know] Ear­le was hit, but they could­n’t hear over our machine gun, so I ran out in the road and I grabbed him.”

After remov­ing Earle’s pro­tec­tive gear, Dish­mon assessed the wound­ed Marine and pro­vid­ed med­ical treat­ment.

Although extreme­ly grate­ful for Dishmon’s efforts, Ear­le has trou­ble recall­ing any­thing from the inci­dent. But his fel­low Marines remem­ber clear­ly how the man they know as “Doc” saved Earle’s life.

“If it was­n’t for Doc that night, Ear­le would not be here,” Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Chris W. Ducharme said.

“It’s essen­tial to have a good corps­man,” Marine Corps Cpl. Evan S. Rinken­berg point­ed out, “espe­cial­ly in a place like Mar­jah where we were get­ting into fire­fights every day. Dish­mon would be there for any­body if they need­ed him.”

Dish­mon has basic advice for Navy corps­men expect­ing to join Marines in com­bat for the first time.

“Remem­ber the basics, and don’t lose your cool,” he said.

The Bronze Star is award­ed to indi­vid­u­als who dis­tin­guish them­selves by hero­ic or mer­i­to­ri­ous achieve­ment or ser­vice while engaged in action against an ene­my of the Unit­ed States. When award­ed for val­or, it is the fourth high­est award in the U.S. armed ser­vices.

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

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