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Local Sailor Earns Silver Star for Heroic Actions

The corpsman dodged bullets to save his wounded comrades.

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    PO1 Benny Flores address the crowd at Camp Pendleton after receiving the Silver Star.

    A Camp Pendleton sailor was awarded the Silver Star for his lifesaving actions in Afghanistan.

    Petty Officer First Class Benny Flores received the award during a ceremony Friday at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

    Flores was deployed to Nimruz Province in southwest Afghanistan last year. He was a hospital corpsman with the First Marine Expeditionary Force.

    According to his award citation, Flores’s convoy came under attack. His vehicle hit an IED, and shrapnel wounded his arms and neck. Despite his own injuries, the corpsman started treating others, dodging bullets at the same time.

    “After the initial blast, I saw I was injured, but didn’t do anything to treat myself. My main thing was all the people in the vehicle, to make sure they were o.k.,” Flores said. “That’s all I cared about.”

    In all, he rescued four people: Three Marines and an Afghan police officer.

    His wife Jerrianne says their family is “extremely proud,” but that her husband is more humble.

    “He hates making a big deal about anything,” she said. “This is a huge, prestigious honor, but it’s not something he’s really celebratory about.”

    “That was my job,” Flores said simply. “My job is to take care of the Marines and support them.”

    The Silver Star is the third highest honor for combat valor.

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