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16 years later, U.S. Marine to be awarded Purple Heart
24 Mar 2021

OKINAWA, Japan – U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Kevin W. Leishman is scheduled to be awarded the Purple Heart medal on 24 Feb. 2021 on Camp Courtney, Okinawa, Japan for wounds sustained in action against enemies of the United States during Operation PHANTOM FURY, Operation Iraqi Freedom, in support of combat operations in Fallujah, Republic of Iraq, on 10 Nov. 2004.

In May 2004, then-SSgt. Leishman deployed to Iraq, assigned to 11th MEU, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 4th Marines (BLT 1/4), Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) Platoon. In November of 2004, tank and AAV platoons with 11th MEU were tasked to support Operation PHANTOM FURY.

On 10 Nov. 2004, Leishman took fire while conducting combat maneuvers in support of ground assault forces. Leishman remained in the prone position, returning fire as he continued to receive impacts from enemy small arms fire. He continued to aim in and identify enemy personnel in order to return fire against confirmed enemy combatants. During the fire fight, a round entered Leishman’s right forearm and remained lodged there, embedded in the muscle tissue. Leishman provided self-aid and used field dressing to stop the bleeding; however, due to combat operational tempo he was unable to receive medical treatment for his wound in a timely manner.

Because he was detached from his parent command when he received the wound, his medical record was unavailable to combat corpsmen and consequently the wound was not properly documented.

16 years later, he is scheduled to be properly awarded the Purple Heart acknowledging his personal sacrifice on behalf of Corps and Country. 

For questions regarding 3D Marine Expeditionary Brigade, please email 3D Marine Expeditionary Brigade Communication Strategy at


3D Marine Expeditionary Brigade