Lawton/Ft. Sill_The Navy and Marines Commendation Medal is a highly coveted honor. So, when a member of the Fort Sill Marine Detachment is a recipient, it calls for a very special celebration. A ceremony, Monday, honored Gunnery Sergeant William Gibson for his heroism in Iraq. Gibson jumped in the line of fire to save the life of a fellow Marine. He says the act came naturally, but also caused him to lose his left leg.
Gibson is one amazing man. It's only been 16 months since he lost his leg and he's already submitted the paperwork to go back to combat in January. "I enjoy the Marine Core. I enjoy working with Marines. There's no better place to be than among Marines," said Gibson.
He's the type of man every military branch wants in their corner and after his actions on May 16, 2006, fellow Marines have learned he's the epitome of the soldier you want behind you in battle. His actions saved the life of another soldier, but he doesn't see them as valiant. "Just keeping him safe. Just making sure one of my young marines didn't get shot," he said.
Gibson is receiving the Commendation Medal with Gold Star for his brave deeds that day. "He was basically stuck in the middle of the road and his weapon jammed," said Gibson when recounting the events. He saw rounds impacting near the young Marine and took matters into his own hands. "When I turned to start firing on the enemy after I knocked him down. That's when I took a round through the left knee cap," he said.
Now, Gibson is fitted with a prosthetic leg, but you won't hear him complaining about it. "I have a swimming leg, a cross-country ski and snowboard leg, a diving leg for scuba diving," he said. "The fact that we can have these kinds of items brings us back to normal, normal day to day living."
So normal, that Gibson says that even though he knows he can't physically be in combat, he still wants to be in the environment - which is why he's submitted his papers to go back to Iraq. "That's my job. I've been doing this for the better part of 18 years now. This is all I want to do ... I don't want to do anything else," he said.