This Weeks Hero Was Suggested By Mary Ann
Wednesday Hero was started to put a face to the men and women of the American Armed Forces and what they do for us. Vary rarely has there been a member of a foreign military profiled. In fact, in the two years Wednesday Hero's been going on it's only been done once before. Here's the second.
24 years old from Birmingham, England
40 Commando Royal Marines
L/Cpl Matt Croucher is not only one of the bravest men alive, he's also one of the luckiest men alive. On the morning of February 9, 2008 L/Cpl. and his unit were searching a compound near Sangin in Afghanistan that was suspected of being used to make bombs to be used in attacks on British and Afghan troops. Walking in the darkness among a group of four men, Croucher stepped into a tripwire that pulled the pin from a boobytrap grenade. His patrol commander, Corporal Adam Lesley, remembered Croucher shouting "Grenade!"
As others dived for cover, Croucher did something nobody expected. He lay down on the grenade to smother the blast. Lesley got on the ground, another man got behind a wall, but the last member of the patrol was still standing in the open when the grenade went off.
"My reaction was, 'My God this can't be real'," said Lesley. "Croucher had simply lain back and used his day sack to blunt the force of the explosion. You would expect nine out of 10 people to die in that situation." L/Cpl. Croucher was that 1/10. Not only did he survive, amazingly he only suffered shock from the blast and a bloody nose. He was saved by the special plating inside his Osprey body armor. The backpack he was wearing was thrown more than 30ft by the blast.
"I felt one of the lads giving me a top to toe check. My head was ringing. Blood was streaming from my nose. It took 30 seconds before I realized I was definitely not dead," said L/Cpl. Croucher.
For his actions that day, L/Cpl. Croucher was in line for the Victoria Cross, the highest award for a British Serviceman, but it has yet to be awarded.
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives
so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday.
For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
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