“Courage under Fire ”
I write to you regards to SSGT Andrew Ethridge, a close friend and a brother of the United States Marine Corps. I met Andrew through our current place of employment and we quickly became friends. While we might have served in the military in different capacities, our love for God, Corps, and Country is undying even after our ultimate tests in servitude.
SSGT Ethridge was a Marine Infantryman in Operation Phantom Fury during the Battle of Fallujah II in November of 2003. During the course of the battle, Andrew and his team were conducting door to door raids seeking out and neutralizing enemy combatants. Upon entering one particular house, Andrew's point man and also his roommate along with another friend entered a house when shots rang out. The point man along with the second Marine to enter were instantly hit and mortally wounded. Andrew, without regard for his own safety responded to the desperate radio calls of his point man and entered as well when he was hit in the leg. With the adrenaline pumping, Andrew continued to fire when he became incapacitated and unable to continue. With the threat eventually neutralized and the Marines wounded cared for, Andrew learned of the death of his brother and roommate. He would be transported out of battle and in to a hospital in Germany where he made enough recovery to attend the funeral of his fallen brother at Arlington National Cemetary in Washington DC. SSGT Andrew Ethridge lives on with the memory of this Marine and the RareLife of never letting it fade.... Semper Fidelis.
Joshua L Carlton
United States Marine Corps