“Do not let someone tell you that you cannot do something,” Bryant said. “When someone says I can’t do something because I’m female, it makes me try harder. You have to dig deep and find that you can do it. You cannot be the weakest one.”
“Steinkamp demonstrated all the skills of the Marine squad leader in a very long day of combat in Afghanistan,” said Brig. Gen. James Lukeman, commanding general of 2nd Marine Division. “From planning the mission, maneuvering his squad, coming into contact with the enemy, setting up supporting fire positions and engaging the enemy, down to close combat with grenades, calling in (medical evacuations), and calling in Cobra (helicopters), he showed the courage and heroism which earned him this Silver Star.”
After four days alongside and integrated within the Marine gun line, the Australian soldiers expressed a shared confidence in their ability to work together. The training garnered a level of confidence and comfort between the forces.
“I always tried to remember that I’m in charge of these guys, so I wanted to lead by example,” Woodall said. “I always felt that if they saw me keeping my emotions under control, that they would try to emulate me.”
“I still haven’t been able to unpack my bags,” she said. “All of my stuff from Afghanistan including my uniform and boots remain untouched. Cancer has only been in my life for the last year. The Marines have been my life for 18 years. Dealing with the Marine part is harder than any treatment I have been through.”