When you think of Master Gunnery Sergeant Peter Proietto, think Sergeant Fury with a few more stripes. He was awarded a Bronze Star with Valor for his actions in Afghanistan back in 2003.
He was in his vehicle outside the village of Bara Waze when the Taliban ambushed his Marine patrol. MGySgt Proietto manned his vehicle’s machine gun and began firing to protect the lead element of the patrol that had been pinned down.
As the attack continued and his suppressing fire began to have an effect, the Taliban began shooting at him. “That’s when the Team Sergeant, Master Sergeant Clopp advised him to abandon his position and seek cover, since he was firing from a non-armored vehicle on an open road, and the enemy was concentrating their fire on him.” (DefenseLink)
He refused. He knew that if he abandoned the gun, the trapped Marines in front of him would be on their own. So he stayed.
For an hour.
Try an experiment. Stand in the bed of a pickup truck for a full sixty minutes. Then imagine being shot at by several people the entire time. That’s what MGySgt Proietto endured – literally. Because of the terrain, the Marines were forced to use small pickups for transportation. His machine gun was mounted in the bed of the truck.
When the machine gun ran out of ammunition, he picked up his M4 and continued firing until the Taliban finally broke and ran. The patrol eventually cut off the pursuit and re-consolidated, returning without the loss of a single American or coalition soldier.
And he walked away without a scratch.
Master Gunnery Sergeant Proietto is our hero of the week.
(For the full story, click here.)