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2nd Marine Division Change of Command Ceremony At Camp Lejeune

By Mahsa Saeidi, Reporter
Published On: Aug 23 2012 09:04:45 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 23 2012 09:06:14 PM CDT
Silver Star
CAMP LEJEUNE -

A young Marine was honored for going above and beyond the call of duty at the 2nd Marine Division Change of Command Ceremony aboard Camp Lejeune on Thursday.

Corporal Jason Hassinger, 24, of Philadelphia, was awarded the Silver Star Medal for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as a fire team leader for 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

"I'd say I'm pretty much still shocked, it really hasn't set in," said Hassinger.

On March 5, 2011, during a routine security patrol, Hassinger's squad can under intense machine gun fire.  Hassinger was directly hit four times on his protective gear.

Despite that, Hassinger continued to move forward, suppressing the enemy, and helping to save his fellow Marines.  Hassinger says there was only one thing on his mind. 

"The dude who shot me is going to get shot back basically, that's it," said Hassinger.

Hassinger's father, Donald, is proud but says that all Marines need to be recognized.

"They all really give up their lives, I mean they actually are over there without thought," said Mr. Hassinger.

At the ceremony, Maj. Gen. John A. Toolan relinquished command of the division to Brig. Gen. James W. Lukeman.

Lukeman recently served as the director for plans and programs, United States Africa Command. Toolan moves to assume command of I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Also honored at the ceremony was Staff Sgt. Matthew E. Faircloth.

Faircloth of Martinsburg, W.V. was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for heroic achievement with 2/8, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in Helmand province, Afghanistan.