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Camp Pendleton Marine receives Silver Star

Staff Sgt. Timothy Williams, a section leader with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, receives the Silver Star Medal and Purple Heart from Lt. Gen. John Toolan, commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force, during an award ceremony held at Camp Las Flores, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 7, 2014.

A Marine staff sergeant at Camp Pendleton has received a Silver Star for bravery and leadership in Afghanistan during an ambush by Taliban fighters.

After his squad leader was downed by enemy fire, Timothy Williams took command, leading a counterattack, killing five Taliban and rescuing the wounded squad leader.

Williams dashed 60 meters to Jason Pennock and then "exposed himself to accurate enemy fire yet again when he carried the wounded Marine over 300 yards of uneven terrain to the medical evacuation platform."

Pennock, who suffered a shattered leg, survived his injury, which occured in the opening moments of the ambush, July 10, 2012. He attended the Silver Star ceremony this week at Camp Pendleton.

During the 10-hour fight, Williams "led his element to effectively neutralize numerous Taliban positions and an estimated 20 Taliban fighters across 3,000 meters of arduous terrain," according to the Silver Star citation.

Williams, 33, of Hudson, Mich., served in the Navy before enlisting in the Marine Corps in 2005.

"Jason is one of the best men that I have ever trained with," Williams said of his former squad leader. "He credits me with saving his life -- even though he taught me most of the things that saved him that day.

"In a way, he saved his own life."

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