Area Marine honored for valor

Cpl. Ryan T. McSweeney is a native of Middletown.

A Middletown native and U.S. Marine was recently honored for bravery during combat in Afghanistan.

Cpl. Ryan T. McSweeney — a recovery vehicle operator serving with Transportation Support Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, Regional Command (Southwest) — responded to the site of a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device on May 13.

McSweeney helped repel an insurgent assault on Forward Operating Base Shir Ghazi in the Helmand province, according to Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS), a 24-hour military newswire.

For his uncommon bravery, initiative, and composure under fire, McSweeney received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device during an award ceremony on July 23 at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.

Following an initial explosion within 50 meters of his position, McSweeney immediately dismounted his vehicle to check on a nearby Marine who had been knocked to the ground.

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After returning the fallen Marine to safety, DVIDS reports that McSweeney then positioned himself to engage insurgents attempting to enter the base. McSweeney was able to eliminate two combatants firing on coalition forces inside the compound.

“Showing little concern for his own safety, McSweeney promptly dismounted his vehicle and moved to secure the site of the explosion,” DVIDS reports. “After confirming the area was clear of additional attackers, McSweeney provided medical aid to a wounded Georgian soldier.”

McSweeney then ran to a nearby tower and used hand and arm signals to organize an effective security posture in the wake of the insurgent attack.

When asked to address a formation of his peers, McSweeney remained humble, asserted a simple “Thank you,” and embraced several of his fellow service members, DVIDS reports.

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