the face of danger, most would run toward safety. Yet, when then-Lance
Cpl. Corbin was faced with such a decision, he ran toward peril and
possible death – braving intense enemy fire to help injured comrades.|
Corbin, a medium tactical vehicle replacement driver, and his unit were
stationed in the Al Anbar province to help secure and stabilize the
volatile area. They had just finished several days of routine patrol on
May 7, 2005, and were returning to the Haditha Dam when they got the
A platoon from their battalion was under attack on the east side of the
Euphrates River and needed support to block the insurgents’ retreat.
Corbin’s team – a quick reaction force (QRF) – quickly responded to the
call. As the QRF crept toward the attack site, there was an unnatural
stillness in the air.
“There was no one out, nothing moving,” Corbin later told the Marine
With every nerve on alert, the QRF kept driving toward the ambush site,
knowing there were injured Marines that needed them. Suddenly, a vehicle
laden with IEDs sped toward the convoy and blew up between two of the
Humvees. Another blast followed as enemy fighters began firing upon the
The swift attack devastated Corbin’s team – three of the four vehicles
were severely damaged, and 11 of 16 Marines were injured or killed.
Taking control of the situation, Corbin immediately repositioned his
vehicle between the insurgents’ fire and the wounded Marines. As he
radioed in the situation, he began directing a counter-attack.
As those that could returned fire, Corbin began recovering dead and
wounded personnel and moving them toward safety. Running through the
line of fire, Corbin grabbed his wounded patrol leader and threw him
over his shoulder. He then sprinted back to his Humvee, firing at
enemies as he ran. Corbin ran back and forth several times through the
kill zone, moving everyone he could out of the withering fire and loaded
them into his vehicle.
Arming every able Marine with as much ammunition and weapons as they
could hold, Corbin drove his severely damaged Humvee through the kill
zone toward the battle aid station. Even injured, the Marines were a
deadly force to be reckoned with. Insurgents continued to pelt the
rumbling truck with mortars and small-arms fire, but the Marines made it
Corbin’s quick actions ensured that no Marines were killed after that
initial attack. For his leadership, Corbin was awarded the Navy Cross on
April 12, 2006.