On May 3, 2005, insurgents began attacking an entry control point in the city of Ramadi, which was manned by the Marines of 1/5.
Under heavy MG, grenade and small arms fire, 1st Lt. David Russell quickly assessed the situation and began engaging the enemy from the 2nd deck of the building.
When he discovered that a Marine isolated in a bunker needed ammunition, he raced to supply him by crossing 75 meters of open area while under fire from at least six insurgents. He purposefully subjected himself to enemy fire to allow one Marine to maneuver and other Marines to destroy the insurgents. He was then knocked to the ground when an enemy round struck his helmet.
Suffering from a concussion and bleeding profusely from wounds to his face and arms, Russell rushed back to direct the fight and establish accountability. Finding two men missing, he rushed across the open area to retrieve a wounded Iraqi soldier. Despite explosions from more than twelve enemy grenades and a stream of machine gun and small arms fire, he moved across the kill zone to personally direct the battle and kill the enemy.
For his actions on that day, he would receive the Silver Star.
“Medals are a hundred percent about being in the wrong place the wrong time with the right people.”