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of the armed forces keep us safe. Two reminders came last week. On Monday at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland, Marine Sgt. David M. Gerardi, 22, was presented with the Silver Star for saving fellow Marines from death in a five-hour firefight in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on June 6, 2011. Sgt. Gerardi, a graduate of Fox Chapel High School whose parents now live in Moon, played a critical role in breaking up an enemy ambush that had pinned down fellow Marines. Not only is he brave but he is also self-effacing; he credited his training for his courage.
THE COURAGE and commitment of Nicolas D. Checque is colored in more somber tones. A member of the celebrated Navy SEAL Team Six, he was killed in action Dec. 8 during a successful mission to rescue an American doctor kidnapped near Kabul by the Taliban. Petty Officer 1st Class Checque, 28, was a decorated 10-year veteran of the military who joined up four months after graduating from Norwin High School. He served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. According to friends, he had wanted to become an elite warrior as far back as middle school. U.S. Rep Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, who released details last week of the petty officer's death, asked the community to pray for the bereaved family. He said, "Today we grieve deeply as a community who lost a son and a grateful nation who lost a sailor."
First Published December 16, 2012 12:00 am