OIF combat veteran awarded Silver Star
By Pfc. Charlie Chavez
| | May 12, 2006
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
Conspicuous gallantry, valor and respect preceded the corporal as he proudly stepped forward to the front of the general; crisply his hand lifted for a salute as he awaited the general’s acknowledgement during the Morning Colors ceremony on the depot May 5.
The Silver Star, the U.S. military’s third highest honor for valor, was awarded to Corporal Kristopher D. Kane, marksmanship coach, Weapons and Field Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, by Brig. Gen. John M. Paxton Jr., commanding general, MCRD and of the Western Recruiting Region.
“Corporal Kane has distinguished himself as a Marine leader, infantryman and a man of courage, conviction and valor in combat. He did brave things to accomplish the mission and save the lives of other Marines. He is part of the core of our institution of honor, courage and commitment,” said Brig. Gen. Paxton. “He is the role model for the next generation of Marines”
During the ceremony, Kane’s parents and brother, who is a staff sergeant in the Army, looked on with pride.
“It was really great to be awarded in front of the families and all of the Marines,” said Kane. “The general was very kind and a great speaker. I know my family enjoyed it, which made it even better.”
The citation for the Silver Star was originally going to be submitted by 1st Lt. Dustin M. Shumney, Kane’s lieutenant in Iraq. However, before Shumney put him in for the medal he passed away in a helicopter crash in Western Iraq along with other members of Kane’s platoon Jan. 26, 2005.
The award was submitted by the command he was under in Iraq. He said that he accepted the award on the behalf of everyone who was in his platoon that had passed away.
On the morning of the Marine Corps’ birthday Nov. 10, 2004, Kane and his company, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, were in operations retaking the city of Fallujah, Iraq.
While en route to their objective they stopped for rest in a guarded building. The next morning they found the home adjacent to them was taking fire, so Shumney sent some of his Marines over a wall to intercept the insurgents.
“Once we got over the wall, gunfire erupted and a couple guys got hit,” said Kane. “A really good friend of mine, Lance Cpl. Aaron Pickering, couldn’t be found. He was my protégé, so I set out to find him.”
Unable to find his deceased friend who was on the second deck, Kane found one of the platoon’s Corpsman on the first deck at the end of the hallway attempting to help the wounded. Kane positioned himself between the Corpsman and the incoming fire of the insurgents.
Maneuvering through the incoming fire inside the home, Kane attempted to throw a grenade into the room where the insurgents were. Missing with the first grenade he threw a second one, which neutralized them. Eliminating only a portion of the insurgents, Shumney called for a bulldozer to demolish half of the home to eliminate the rest.
When the bulldozer brought the house down, rubble was pushed onto Kane breaking his right femur and left clavicle. Injured, he was evacuated to Bravo Surgical Fallujah where he was treated and evacuated to other hospitals, said Kane.
Kane, who is proud to serve his country, looks forward to serving another tour in Iraq after finishing his present duties as a marksmanship instructor.