Marine receives Bronze Star for bravery in Afghanistan, helped repel Taliban assault
Here's what Rice, 35, now assigned to the Camp Pendleton-based 1st Marine Logistics Group, did:
When a group of 50 or more Taliban fighters tried to overrun a small Afghan national army outpost in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan on July 27, 2009, Rice led an "aggressive counterattack" that went on for five hours.
Initially pinned down by fire, Rice shot and killed numerous enemy. He ran across open ground, dodging enemy fire, to resupply a group of Afghan soldiers and fix their M240 machine gun so they could help in repelling the attack.
When a medical helicopter attempted to land to evacuate a wounded U.S. Special Forces soldier, Rice spotted a Taliban fighter positioning himself to bring down the helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade. Rice eliminated the Taliban threat.
As the battle continued, Rice's bravery set "a heroic example" for U.S. and Afghan forces and saved numerous lives, according to the Bronze Star citation. The attack was finally blunted.
The award was Rice's second Bronze Star for service in Afghanistan.
During the 2009 attack, Rice was part of a training unit working with the Afghan army. The Worcester, Mass., native is now with a food service company, part of Combat Logistics Regiment 17.
Camp Pendleton honors 125 Marines and sailors killed in Afghanistan in the last year
Marine general at Camp Pendleton, just back from Afghanistan, gets promotion
Marine general is glad Al Qaeda leader is 'in hell' but warns of decades-long war
-- Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: 1st Sgt. Curtis Rice in Afghanistan. Credit: Leatherneck Magazine