All our military friends and neighbors deserve our thanks for their contributions to our country, but very few receive the Navy Cross Medal, the second highest in the Marine Corps.
Sgt. Aubrey McDade, Jr., is currently a drill instructor at Parris Island, but Friday during a recruit graduation ceremony, he was honored with the Navy Cross for his courageous acts as a machine gun squad leader during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"We encountered an ambush in the alley way in Falujah," said McDade. "They were pinned down and we were immobile. I talked with my gunner and told him I would go out of there. I went out there with the best of my ability and did what I could do. I got three Marines out of an ambush, one had a severed left leg."
While his acts are heroic in most of our minds, Sgt McDade says it was just part of his duty.
"No time to think, you have a mission and you need to get it done," said McDade. "If you think about getting shot, that is more than likely what will happen."
McDade remains humble about receiving the second highest award in the Marine Corps.
"It was an award for me but it was on behalf of all the Marines," said McDade. "Like I said, the Marines who have fallen, the new Marines today and the Marines that deserve recognition that have not been recognized yet, so I feel good, but if I could give it back, though, I would for the Marine's life to come back."
For his love for our country and the Corps, Sgt. Aubrey McDade, Jr., is this week's WTOC Hometown Hero.