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Cpl. Nicholas H. Ludke, a combat engineer with Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, is awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a combat distinguishing device during a ceremony aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 24, 2011. During the ceremony 13 Marines were recognized for actions while deployed to Afghanistan from July 2010 to February 2011.

Photo by Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado

13 Marines receive recognition for actions in Afghanistan

31 Mar 2011 | Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado 2nd Marine Logistics Group

Marines with 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, were recognized during an award ceremony aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 24, 2011.

Thirteen Marines ranging from the rank of private first class to captain, were awarded various medals, which included five Purple Heart Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and six Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, four of which had combat distinguishing devices.

Along with these awards, Combat Logistics Battalion 2, received the Force Preservation Award for outstanding safety programs and taking on force preservation initiatives during Operation Enduring Freedom while attached to I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), from July 2010 to February 2011.

“Today is a great day,” said Sgt. Maj. Tracy Linch, CLB-2 sergeant major.

The day marked an occasion when all of CLB-2 was present to congratulate their fellow Marines, which was the best part for some of the award recipients like Lance Cpl. Heath Coker, who received a Purple Heart for wounds he sustained during a convoy on Oct. 26, 2010 in Afghanistan.

“We’re all like a family,” he said. “It’s not a massive unit, so if something happens, everyone knows and everyone has showed me nothing but love.”

That caring attitude was apparent from the newest Marine to the commanding officer, Lt. Col. Brian Wolford.

“Keep doing what you’re doing, enjoy yourselves but do the right thing,” he said. “We’ve only been back a month … let’s stay on track.”

As the ceremony came to a close, many Marines stuck around and spoke with the award recipients about how it felt.

“It feels good to be given this award,” said Lance Cpl. Kelly A. White, the lone female to be given an award, the Purple Heart Medal, during the ceremony. “I don’t know what to think of it yet. One person asked me how it felt because I was a female, but I don’t see it as that. We are all Marines.”

CLB-2 was deployed to Afghanistan in support of International Security Assistance Forces from July 2010 to February 2011.