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Marine corporal from Twentynine Palms receives Silver Star for Afghanistan firefight

July 17, 2010 | 10:37 am


A Marine corporal from the base at Twentynine Palms has received the Silver Star for bravery during a firefight in Afghanistan in which he is credited with saving the life of a Marine and "enabling his squad to fight through a fierce enemy ambush."

Daniel F. Hickey of North Bend, Ore., was part of a vehicle patrol that was ambushed in August 2008 by insurgents with machine-gun fire and rocket-propelled grenades.

Hickey, a machine gunner, immediately left the vehicle to help a wounded Marine and return fire, according to the Silver Star citation signed by Commandant Gen. James Conway.

"Amidst the renewed enemy onslaught...Hickey knelt in place, sighted in on a machine gun and rocket team, and engaged, killing several fighters as they prepared to engage his patrol," the citation said.

Hickey, who was a lance corporal in 2008, received the medal Friday at Twentynine Palms. "We are here to honor a hero," Lt. Col. John Reed, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, told the gathering.

The Two-Seven had been sent to Helmand province to mentor Afghan security forces. Instead they ended up in numerous firefights with insurgents.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Cpl. Daniel Hickey. Credit: Cpl. Andrew Avitt