HM3 Joshua Chiarini (DOD)
You may have read about this Sailor in Navy Times a couple of months ago, but his story merits one more telling. His is a tale of a corpsman who risked it all to save his Marines.
Two years ago, Chiarini was on his third tour of duty in Iraq and was the only corpsman in the convoy when one IED then another hit the vehicles in front of him. Unable to see through the smoke, Chiarini’s driver hestitated to continue moving forward. As the sound of unseen explosions and small arms fire raged ahead of them, Chianni made the decision himself. Grabbing his rifle and medical bag, Chiarini said:
“Screw it. I am going forward.”
â€œI felt like corpsmen that had gone before me in earlier wars were there. I could feel their hands on my shoulders as I worked (Navy Times).”
The Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit had run into an ambush, and Chiarini knew there were injuries. “Dodging enemy fire, Chiarini ran 200 meters to the wounded Marines. One by one, he directed three of them to limp toward the armored Humvee, while he followed them, laying down covering fire with his M16. Then, with one hand, he carried the more seriously wounded interpreter to the rear, turning his body sideways at times to lay down cover fire (Navy Times).”
Chianni told Navy Times that he had been in scores of fire-fights, been in around 30 convoys that have been attacked with IEDs, and treated over a hundred wounded Marines without losing one of them. He was awarded a Silver Star for his actions that day, but his most meaningful tribute came later, when he saw one of the wounded Marines at a pizza parlor. He told Chiarini,
“Doc, I knew everything was going to be OK when I saw you come through the smoke.”
Joshua Chiarini is our hero of the week.
For the complete story, see Chris Amos’ article, posted on Navy Times (Oct 30, 2007).