You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Corpsman to receive Silver Star at Pendleton on Friday

May. 2, 2013 - 06:43PM   |  
Guam corpsman helps save Marines despite injuries
Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (FMF) Benny Flores will receive a Silver Star on Friday for his actions during an attack on a Marine convoy in Afghanistan almost exactly a year ago. (Marine Corps)
  • Filed Under

It’s been a year since Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (FMF) Benny Flores was thrown from the back of a pickup truck in southwest Afghanistan by a suicide-bomb blast. Since then, he’s had some time to reflect on what followed — about 20 minutes of chaos, during which his valor under enemy fire earned him a Silver Star.

But his reflection on the April 2012 attack in Zaranj, the capital of Nimruz province, centers around one man.

“The one Marine we lost,” Flores said.

Master Sgt. Scott Pruitt died from injuries received in the attack; he was riding in the same pickup as Flores, seated on the passenger side and taking the brunt of the explosion.

The blast set off a firefight. Flores first treated another Marine who’d been thrown from the truck, then returned to the vehicle to check on the Afghan driver and Pruitt, who already had no pulse, was not breathing and had suffered siginificant blood loss, according to a May 2012 Defense Department news article on the incident. Flores applied a tourniquet and Pruitt was removed from the vehicle, but it was too late.

“I’m always asking my self if there was anything else I could have done,” Flores said, adding that those he talks to about the incident “always tell me the same thing — that you did all you could have done.”

Flores did much more during the firefight, running into the road — and into enemy fire — four times to help Marines and their Afghan allies, according to his award citation. He suffered shrapnel wounds to his back and arms, refusing treatment until the gunfire ceased.

“I wasn’t paying attention” to the enemy, Flores, 30, said. “We had Marines there, I trusted them to protect me.”

Flores was scheduled to receive his Silver Star in a Friday ceremony at Camp Pendleton, Calif., with his family in attendance. He said he’s always dreamed of being on the medical staff of a professional sports team, but for now is focused on his Navy service. His most recent enlistement will take him to the 16-year-mark, said Flores, who enlisted in 2001.

“I’m a lifer,” he said.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Air Force Times

This Week's Air Force Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook