Marines Magazine

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Faces in the Ranks

Cpl. Brady A. Gustafson

Cpl. Brady A. Gustafson
Eagan, Minn.

Age: 21
Occupation: Rifleman
Unit:Company G, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment

Gustafson was awarded the Navy Cross and meritoriously promoted to corporal March 27 in a ceremony aboard the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif., for his actions July 21, 2008, in Shewan, Afghanistan. Gustafson was manning the turret gun in his vehicle when the convoy was ambushed by the enemy. Gustafson returned fire and his vehicle was then hit by a rocket propelled grenade. The strike severed Gustafson’s right leg. None­theless, Gustafson continued to fight by returning well-aimed machine gun fire to enemy positions until he was dragged away by his fellow Marines from his smoking gun. Just then, he told his Marines, “Sorry guys. I can’t keep going.”

Lance Cpl. Aaron Hostutler

Lance Cpl. Aaron Hostutler
North Tonawanda, N.Y.

Age: 20
Occupation: Combat correspondent
Unit: Marine Corps Base Okinawa, Japan, Consolidated Public Affairs Office

Hostutler initially signed up for the bone marrow program while in military occupational specialty school in Fort George G. Meade, Md., to impress a girl. About a year and a half after signing up, Hostutler received an e-mail from officials at the program informing him of a teenager who was in dire need of bone marrow. He flew out in February to the St. Joseph Hospital of Orange County, Calif. The girl he was out to impress, now his wife, was at his side during the procedure. Hostutler donated more than three pints of bone marrow to a teenager he never met.

Sgt. Matthew P. Askren

Sgt. Matthew P. Askren
Chicago Land Area, Ill.

Age: 23
Occupation: Multichannel equipment operator instructor
Unit: Company B, Marine Corps Communications-Electronics School

Askren was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his actions while serving with the Regional Corps Advisory Command in central Afghanistan from October 2007 to November 2008. While serving as an advisor, Askren led two other Marines and 28 Afghan National soldiers up a mountain 4,000 feet in elevation at midnight to set up observation posts to deter enemy attacks on two American forward operating bases. The 12-day mission ended in success with 10 enemy positions and one enemy safe house destroyed, according
to the award citation.

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