Jenna Ridgeway, left, laughs while she listens as people congratulate her husband, Staff Sgt. Daniel W. Ridgeway, for receiving the Silver Star Medal during a ceremony at Camp Lejeune (pictured left). Staff Sgt. Daniel W. Ridgeway (pictured right) on patrol during his deployment to Afghanistan.
Service members shuffled through the doors and filled rows of seats at the Goettge Memorial Field House April 30, to honor a man who risked his life to save his fellow Marines in Afghanistan in 2011.
The Silver Star Medal, the third highest military decoration for valor, has only been awarded to 40 Marines for actions in Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. Daniel W. Ridgeway, an explosive ordnance disposal team leader with 2nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, was the 41st to receive the medal for his actions in combat during Operation Enduring Freedom.
His award citation reads that Ridgeway cleared a 40-meter path on his hands and knees to a fellow Marine after the team member was struck by an explosive device. Upon reaching the victim, he treated the Marine’s wounds and turned him over to a corpsman for continued care. Ridgeway then began clearing a 100-meter by 100-meter landing zone so his team member could be evacuated. Once his team member was evacuated, Ridgeway’s unit came under fire. He continued to clear more paths for his team and disarmed five more improvised explosive devices.