Camp Pendleton Marine killed in Afghanistan is awarded Silver Star
Cindy Easterling received the medal on behalf of her son, Sgt. Wade Wilson, who was killed in a firefight May 11, 2012 in the Musa Qa'leh district of Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold.
When Marines were attacked by an insurgent wielding an AK-47, Wilson "immediately drew his M9 pistol and, leaving the safety of his armored vehicle, fearlessly closed with the insurgent," according to the Silver Star citation signed by Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos.
Wounded several times, Wilson continued to advance on the insurgent, forcing him to flee toward other Marines, who "subsequently engaged and killed him before he could inflict additional casualties." Wilson died from his wounds.
Wilson, 22, from Centerville, Texas, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. He was on his third combat deployment.
"He was one of the greatest Marines I've ever worked with," Capt. John Black said during the award ceremony at Camp Pendleton.
--Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: Cindy Easterling, mother of Sgt. Wade Wilson, clutches the Silver Star citation. Credit: Sgt. Jacob Harrer