The trooper's humbleness about receiving the award says a lot about why he got it in the first place: he puts the lives of others above his own as a matter of course. Ahh, the humility, the humanity. Good show!
Thank you for posting this article of a true hero. As a retired military man I was so impressed at what he did and how his country will honor and remember his effort. Even telling school children about it. All very high quality work. Salute! Randy MSgt. USAF ret.
A Royal Marine was frecently awarded the George Cross:
"A Royal Marine who is to be awarded the George Cross for saving the lives of his comrades by throwing himself on top of a grenade has spoken of the agonising moments after he set off a Taleban booby trap.
Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher, 24, said he was certain that he was going to die after he triggered the device during a mission in the Helmand region of southern Afghanistan.
He said: “I felt the tripwire hit my shins. You know immediately what that means. All I could do in the moment was shout out, ‘Grenade’ before diving on top of it.”
"I thought, 'I've set this bloody thing off and I'm going to do whatever it takes to protect the others,'" he said.
The Marine then shouted "Grenade. Take cover" to three men close to the bomb.
"I knew a grenade like this has a killing circumference of about five metres," he said. "I'd been through this scenario in my mind and realised there was nowhere to take cover-there's no point running off because you're going to catch shrapnel.
"The lads behind me would have caught a lot too."
The serviceman, from Birmingham, "fully expected" to lose a limb but was willing to make the sacrifice "if I could keep my torso and head intact".
He dived onto the floor, rolled over and used his backpack - containing a 66mm rocket, a large lithium battery and medical kit - to cover the lethal shrapnel fragments from the coming blast.
When the bang went off he was thrown through the air and suffered just a nose bleed.
"It took 30 seconds before I realised I was definitely not dead," he said.
Lance Corporal Croucher, from Solihull, Warwickshire, had been serving with 40 Commando Royal Marines as a reservist since last autumn. He said that he put himself on the line because he felt guilty for setting off the device.
His rucksack, which included a large battery that “set off like a flare”, was almost completely destroyed.
The three men with him during the incident in February suffered only minor cuts and injuries. They later passed on a citation to their commanding officer.
L/Cpl Croucher was examined by a medic who recommended he should be evacuated but the Marine, who has completed three tours of Iraq, was determined to stay to fight the Taliban and within an hour had shot an insurgent approaching their position
His parents, Margaret, 55, and Richard, 57, said they were unaware what had happened until their son returned to Britain in April. Mrs Croucher, a teacher, said she received a text message while he was away that read: “Being put forward for a citation, might meet the Queen.”
She said: “Obviously I was very intrigued but we didn’t get the full story until he got back and we read about it in the papers. I am immensely proud but it was a typical act from him. It was not the first time he had put his life at risk.”
Mr Croucher described his son, who has served twice in Iraq and once in Afghanistan, as a lucky man. “You could say he is jammy - we have since been told about a series of other incidents when his life has been on the line.”
Lance Corporal Croucher said he would act the same way again and that there had been “at least 12” occasions when he thought he was going to die while on duty.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the Chief of the Defence Staff, said: “He acted to save his comrades in the almost certain knowledge that he would not himself survive. His exemplary behaviour and supreme heroism are fully deserving of the nation’s highest recognition.”
Lance Corporal Croucher runs a risk-assessment business and is the first reservist to have been awarded the George Cross while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. He previously served in the Royal Marines.
There are only 20 other living recipients of the medal, which, with the Victoria Cross, is the highest honour for gallantry. He was awarded the George Cross because his act of heroism did not occur in the face of the enemy.
He was presented with the medal at Buckingham Palace in the autumn. " The Times Online
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