Joe Dan "Doc" Worley
On September 17, 2004, while on patrol with Marines from the 2nd
Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, in Fallujah, Iraq, an IED exploded
into a humvee killing a Marine and an Iraqi Interpreter. Not
even 10 days prior, his former platoon had seven Marines killed in
action when a vehicle borne IED drove into their patrol. The
attrition from the blast was so severe that the platoon, known as
Pale Rider Three, would be disbanded and the surviving Marines sent
to other platoons in Fox Company.
Immediately reacting to the explosion, Doc Worley went into
automatic pilot. No one needed to explain to this Corpsman
the importance of his job after an enemy attack. Worley grabbed his
aid bag and took off toward the thick smoke, preparing himself for
the worst-case scenario of this close quarters
As Worley sprinted across a bridge, a secondary IED exploded only
a few feet away from him, ripping off his left leg instantly.
Experiencing mind-numbing pain throughout his entire body, Worley
began to assess his own condition, something he had done countless
times for others. He put himself through the life saving aid
procedures as he had so many other times to others, when there were
too many injured for one Corpsman to handle. Worley applied a
tourniquet just above his own left knee, an extremely painful
procedure that was vital in saving his own life.
Focusing on getting to his injured Marines who lay ahead of him,
Worley refused to succumb to the overwhelming odds that were
presented to him with little cover and in excruciating pain.
As enemy AK-47 rounds impacted all around his position, he
attempted to crawl forward toward the vehicle when again his
movement was stopped, this time by the sharp twinge of five 7.62mm
rounds tearing into his right leg.
What makes men like Doc Worley perform acts of uncommon valor is a
steadfast dedication for the mission and undying selfless
dedication to his comrades.
Having every reason to make his way to safety, Worley opted to
continue his movement forward toward other wounded Marines to help
When his Marines were able to achieve fire superiority and control
the battle space around the vehicle, and extract the injured,
Worley continued to give first aid instruction in attempts to treat
his buddies who were gravely wounded.
Doc Worley recently returned home to Paulding County, Georgia,
after 19 months of surgeries and rehabilitation at Bethesda and
Walter Reed Hospitals. Doc Worley is a passionate and
articulate supporter of the mission today in Iraq and
Afghanistan. He is a founding member of Vets for Freedom and
is currently medically retired from the Navy. For his brave
actions, he was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for
Read more about Doc Worley's story
here on CBS News