“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.”
As a radio chief for a Supporting Arms Liaison Team G, 1st ANGLICO, I Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, Madrigal’s team and other Marine teams on patrol were attacked by insurgents, Feb. 15, 2008. After fiercely fighting back the enemy attack, that injured a nearby Marine, Madrigal dashed out onto the battlefield to snatch the downed Marine who had been shot in the thigh. Without regard for safety, Madrigal dragged his fellow Marine to covered area and applied a tourniquet to the Marine’s bleeding wound.
Cole was awarded the Silver Star, the Nation’s third highest award for valor July 10 for his actions that day. He adamantly admits that he is not a hero and that when he decided to stand up on that road, he was just doing his job.
“I don’t think I deserve it,” Cole mentioned. “Nothing I did comes close to the Marines I was with. Pinned down in a ditch, wounded, they fought for an hour against an enemy that got within 30 meters. Not once did they waiver. This award isn’t my award. It’s their award and all the guys who we lost who can’t wear it now, I’ll wear it for them since they can’t.”