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Hero Marine Takes Down Insurgent with Bare Hands

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September 6, 2016
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Staff Sergeant Clifford Wooldridge beat a Taliban fighter to death with his bare hands and the insurgent's own machine gun.The Marine, who received the Navy Cross in 2012 for his actions during a June 2010 firefight in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, has left the Corps after nearly nine years of service. "I enjoyed my time in the Marine Corps," Wooldridge told the Marine Corps Times. "It's had a huge impact on my life. I'm going to miss the men I served with and miss being in the fight with them."


"I Think I Just Killed A Guy With My Bare Hands"

On June 18th, 2010, Wooldridge and his platoon from Third Battalion, Seventh Marines came under intense enemy fire while conducting a mounted patrol in Helmand Province. The platoon dismounted and maneuvered on the enemy's suspected location.They then spotted a group of around fifteen enemy fighters preparing an ambush. Wooldridge, then a Corporal, bounded with one of his fire teams and killed at least eight of the fighters. On withdrawal, Wooldridge was left alone, and heard voices from behind a nearby compound wall.He quickly turned a corner and killed two Taliban fighters with his M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. While preparing to reload, he spotted a machine gun barrel sticking out from a murder hole in the compound wall, which he immediately grabbed.During the struggle, Wooldridge beat the Taliban fighter to death with his own weapon. After the battle, he famously told his platoon commander "I think I just killed a guy with my bare hands.""We had a rough deployment, but it's war," he said in 2013, during an interview with the Marine Corps Times. That year, he earned the "Marine of the Year" title from the newspaper."There are definitely a lot of people who deserve this award over me, but the mere fact that I was even put up for this was incredible...I'm very humbled."Wooldridge went on to serve as an instructor at the Marine Corps Security Force Training Company's Close Quarter Battle School.Learn more about Wooldridge in the video below:

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