July 15 1987
Brady Gustafson was awarded the Navy Cross, the 2nd highest award for valor, after his actions on July 21st 2008. Only 29 Navy Crosses had been awarded since conflicts started in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Gustafson’s (also know as Goose) squad was serving as a turret gunner on a patrol through the village of Shewan, Afghanistan, when his squad was ambushed. The patrol was under heavy gun fire as well as rocket propelled grenade (RPG) attacks. One of the first RPG rounds hit Goose’s vehicle and in the process severely damaged his left leg.
The vehicle behind him was then disabled by another RPG round. Goose directed his vehicle to remove the damaged vehicle from the enemy’s attack zone, unfortunately once the disabled vehicle was removed it caught on fire. Goose continued to return suppression fire whilst he was being administered emergency medical attention to stop the bleeding in his leg. Goose also had to deal with heavy enemy fire and the onset of shock due to his traumatic injury. His valiant effort provided his fellow marines enough time to escape the burning vehicle.