PENDLETON, CALIF. — A New Braunfels Marine serving with 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion received the Bronze Star with combat distinguishing device during a Wednesday ceremony at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Sergeant Thaddeus Herber, an infantryman, was given the Bronze Star by Maj. Gen. Ronald Bailey, the commanding general of 1st Marine Division, for his actions in Helmand province, Afghanistan in 2011.
The Bronze Star is the fourth-highest combat decoration in the United States military. It is awarded with a combat distinguishing device for acts of valor in a combat zone.
Herber is one of four local brothers from the same family serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. “The Fighting Herbers” were featured in the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung on Aug. 23, 2012. (To read the article, visit http://bit.ly/Y1P7eO.)
A heroic act
Herber and his squad of Marines were ambushed by small-arms fire. He led two Marines forward into a ditch to return fire. A fellow Marine called over the radio and said that the enemy was shifting to return fire along the ditch.
Immediately, Herber ordered the two Marines in his team to get out of the ditch and noticed a combat engineer had taken a gunshot wound to the thigh. Without hesitation, Herber applied a tourniquet to the Marine’s leg and dragged him behind a wall to safety.
“I was recognized for being in a position and doing what any of the other Marines that were in that position would have done,” he said. “We were all trained to do the same thing. One of our fellow Marines was shot in the leg and dropped to the ground. If the enemy is (attacking) and you need to get somebody to cover, you’re not going to just leave him there.
“It’s just doing your job. I just happened to be in that place at that time.”