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The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Aaron C. Austin, Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy as Machine Gun Team Leader, Company E, Second Battalion, First Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, FIRST Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Forces Central Command in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II on 26 April 2004. At 1100 on 26 April, a numerically superior enemy force attacked Lance Corporal Austin's platoon from three different directions. In the first 15 minutes of the attack, the enemy fired dozens of rocket-propelled grenades, thousands of machine gun rounds, and then assaulted to within 20 meters of Lance Corporal Austin's position. While throwing grenades and spraying their positions with AK-47 fire, 16 of his fellow Marines on the rooftop position were wounded, some severely. After ensuring his wounded platoon members received medical treatment, he rallied the few remaining members of his platoon and rushed to the critical rooftop defensive position. Braving withering enemy machine gun and rocket-propelled grenade fire, he reached the rooftop and prepared to throw a hand grenade. As he moved into a position from which to throw his grenade, enemy machine gun fire struck Lance Corporal Austin multiple times in the chest. Undaunted by his injuries and with heroic effort, Lance Corporal Austin threw his grenade, which exploded amidst the enemy, halting their furious attack. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Lance Corporal Austin reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the