Silver Star Medal awarded to Gadsden Marine

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, stands at attention after being awarded the Silver Star Medal aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 30, 2013. Ridgeway was awarded for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom." Ridgeway is a native of Gadsden, Ala. (Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System)
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, stands at attention after being awarded the Silver Star Medal aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 30, 2013. Ridgeway was awarded for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom." Ridgeway is a native of Gadsden, Ala. (Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System)

GADSDEN, Ala. (WIAT) – A Gadsden man was awarded the Silver Star Medal on April 30, 2013. The medal is the third-highest military decoration for valor.

The medal was awarded to Staff Sgt. Daniel W. Ridgeway, an explosive ordinance disposal team leader with the 2nd Explosive Ordinance Disposal Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion and the 2nd Marine Logistics Group.

Ridgeway is the 41st Marine to receive the medal for his actions in combat during Operation Enduring Freedom.

According to the specifics regarding his award, Ridgeway cleared a 40-meter path on his hands and knees to a fellow Marine after a team member was struck by an explosive device.

When he reached the victim, he treated his wounds and turned him over to another corpsman for further care.

Immediately following that, Ridgeway began clearing a 100-meter by 100-meter landing zone so the injured Marine could be evacuated.  While doing so, his unit came under fire. He pressed on and continued clearing paths for his team. All in all, he disarmed five more IEDs.

“Life is . . . what you make it,” Ridgeway said during the ceremony. “It will beat you down if you let it, but like Rocky said, ‘It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.’”

Ridgeway is currently assigned to the Wounded Warriors Battalion-East.

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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