Five Marines have received Purple Hearts for shrapnel injuries they received during a Taliban rocket attack in Afghanistan on the afternoon of Oct. 22, according to awards citations.
Six Americans received shrapnel injuries during the 2:50 p.m. attack, according to citations received by Marine Corps Times Wednesday via a Freedom of Information Act request with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command.
“All six casualties were MEDEVAC’d to contingency location Shorab Role II Medical Facility for immediate medical attention and were subsequently transferred to Kandahar Role III Medical Treatment Facility for follow-on care,” according to the award citations.
Four of the Marines involved were on active duty, while the fifth was a reservist activated for the deployment, the citations said. Four of the Marines were assigned to Task Force Southwest, with another assigned to the Marine Corps Forces Central Command’s Afghanistan coordination element.
The Marines were deployed to a post at the Bost airfield just outside the city of Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of the historically volatile Helmand province, Afghanistan.
In March, the Taliban launched a large assault on Afghan troops and U.S. Marine advisers at Afghanistan’s Camp Shorabak, but were pushed back by American air support.
There were no reported U.S. or coalition causalities in that attack, but it was reported at the time there could be as many 20 dead Afghan security forces troops.
October’s rocket attack on the Marine post near the Bost airfield was first reported by The New York Times, though much information about the extent of the attack was unclear at the time and still is.
After the attack, the Taliban “tweeted that their fighters had fired more than 60 ‘missiles’ at the outpost and killed and wounded ‘tens’ of Americans and Afghans," the Times reported on Oct. 23. A defense official told the outlet that it was just several rockets.
When Marine Corps Times reached out to the Marines Corps for comment on Oct. 28, officials did not share any information about the incident.
“We do not confirm or share information about servicemembers who may be injured or ill," Eric Pahon, spokesman with Resolute Support, said in an email.