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Family to receive hero mortarman's Bronze Star

Feb. 12, 2013 - 03:10PM   |   Last Updated: Feb. 12, 2013 - 03:10PM  |  
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Sgt. William Stacey ()

The family of a Marine mortarman will receive his posthumous Bronze Star during a ceremony on Feb. 15, the 1st Marine Division has announced.">Sgt. William Stacey, a section leader with Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, was killed Jan. 31, 2012, by an improvised explosive device while on a foot patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

According to the award citation, Stacey engaged in multiple acts of exemplary bravery between Sept. 1, 2011, and Jan 31, 2012.

On Nov. 26, 2011, he led his unit in an advance against the enemy when the Marines came under machine gun fire from three directions at once.

While exposed to intense fire, Stacey pressed forward 200 meters over exposed terrain to reach more advantageous ground and mitigate the chance of friendly fire.

Later, on Dec. 13, Stacey and his squad held their ground for hours against 10 to 12 enemy fighters firing Ak-47s and machine guns from five separate positions.

"Realizing his ammunition was running low, he skillfully directed that his remaining rounds be used for obscuration as he maneuvered his squad out of the kill zone and back to the patrol base, unquestionably saving the lives of his Marines," Stacey's citation reads.

Stacey, 23, of King, Wash., was also the recipient of the Purple Heart.

The Bronze Star medal will be presented to Stacey's family, including his parents, Robert and Robin Stacey, aboard Camp Pendleton by Maj. Gen. Ronald Bailey, commanding general of 1st Marine Division, according to a release.

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