Woodstock Hero Gets Silver Star
Marine Lance Cpl. Jeffrey Cole was awarded high honor for his heroism in Afghanistan.
Marine Lance Cpl. Jeffrey Cole, a Woodstock native and previously honored hometown hero, has received the Silver Star, the nation's third highest award for valor.
The I am a Marine Facebook page on Friday posted the dramatic photo of a wounded Cole during the 2010 firefight in which his patrol came under fire from enemy insurgents. Five of the 10 service members on the patrol were already wounded, but Cole took a wounded Marine's machine gun and kept the insurgents at bay as he was shot twice in the arm.
A determined Cole continued to fight off the Taliban, despite his wounds and the continued loss of blood, according to accounts.
Cole underwent nearly 18 hours of surgery at Camp Bastion, the main British military base in Afghanistan, before he was sent to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Cole later joined the Wounded Warrior Battalion – East on Camp Lejeune.
He told a Marine journalist that he is not a hero and that he was just doing his job.
“I don’t think I deserve it,” Cole said. “Nothing I did comes close to the Marines I was with. Pinned down in a ditch, wounded, they fought for an hour against an enemy that got within 30 meters. Not once did they waiver. This award isn’t my award. It’s their award and all the guys who we lost who can’t wear it now, I’ll wear it for them since they can’t.”
The Marines also posted a video interview with Cole in which he said he can't wait to come home and how much he loves Woodstock. "I love it there. I can't wait to go back," Cole said.
He also recalled the hero's welcome he received in October 2010 when he was honored in Woodstock City Park.