MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Cpl. Danny S. Santos, a rifleman with the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Anti-Terrorism) and a native of south-central Los Angeles, received a Silver Star Aug. 10 from Lt. Gen. James F. Amos, commanding general of II Marine Expeditionary Force, for his actions in Operation Iraqi Freedom April 2004.
The Silver Star is the nation’s third-highest award, after the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross, respectively.
Amos noted the significance of the award in his presentation.
“In all my years in the Marine Corps, I have pinned on a lot of medals and decorations, but this is the first Silver Star. I want to make sure everyone understands how significant this is,” he said, “this is extreme heroism.”
Santos was then part of 3d Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 7, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. On April 17, 2004 during a battalion attack against militia forces, the lead element of Kilo Company was attacked from several enemy strong points located in two story houses.
Santos’ point man was wounded and exposed to enemy fire. Exposing himself to enemy fire, Santos’ ran to the wounded Marine and dragged him to safety. Santos continued the fight, leading his squad against the positions, destroying one position while exposed to enemy fire.
In the course of the fight, Santos sustained wounds to his shoulder and stomach, but refused medical attention until his men were properly treated.
“Everyone from 3/7 deserves this,” said Santos, who was soft-spoken during the ceremony. “I was only able to do it because of the people who were with me.”
Santos’ company commander at the time, Capt. Trent A. Gibson, spoke on his behalf to let the audience know of his heroism.
“No one tore up more than him,” said Gibson.