06 July 2011

Marine squad reunites to honor fallen brother killed carrying wounded comrade to safety

On July 1, 2010, Cpl. Larry Harris Jr. of the 3/1 Marines was on patrol in Helmand province when his unit was ambushed and fellow Marine Lance Cpl. Jake Henry was wounded.

While carrying LCpl. Henry to safety, Harris stepped on an IED. He took the brunt of the blast and died instantly. Henry survived.

Last week, on the first anniversary of his death, many of his squad members gathered at his gravesite at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver to pay their respects.

"Not only was he my best friend. He was the best Marine I ever knew," [Harris' squad leader Sgt. Ian] Gilbert said to a crowd gathered in a shelter on the cemetery grounds.

Harris' squad, friends and family then walked to his gravesite. They released balloons, prayed at the headstone and left flowers.

"I love the guy, and you look around, and you see these guys, and they all loved him too," Gilbert said. "And that's why they are here."

Cpl. Harris was awarded the Silver Star for his heroic actions on that day. His other personal service awards include the Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

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