A former Marine originally from Fox Chapel received the Silver Star for combat heroism at a ceremony today at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall.
David Gerardi, 22, whose family now lives in Moon, was credited with fending off an ambush in Afghanistan on June 6, 2011, and saving a team of fellow Marines pinned down by enemy fighters wielding machine guns and grenade launchers from four positions.
Sgt. Gerardi, a corporal at the time who has since joined the Army National Guard, engaged the enemy fighters, killing several of them and enabling his unit to break contact after a five-hour firefight.
"Well done," said Maj. Gen. Melvin Spiese before pinning the Silver Star on his uniform, "and Semper fidelis."
Sgt. Gerardi gave a short, tearful speech in which he thanked his fellow Marines, several of whom made the trip to Pittsburgh to see him get the medal.
"I'd like to thank you guys for being here," he said. "These guys are like brothers to me."
Torsten Ove: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1510.