One moment he’s on guard duty, the next he’s on the ground bleeding. The Marine takes a moment to collect his thoughts, picks himself up despite the pain and knows he has a job to do.
Lance Cpl. Cody Goebel had taken a bullet to the neck while guarding a position vital to his squad’s defense while serving with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
With an arterial wound to his neck, Goebel stood tall and refused medical aid until he was properly relieved and another Marine could man his position.
“I remembered to stay calm. I had been hit and now I needed to return fire,” said Goebel. “I wasn’t thinking about myself, I knew I had to defend my post and knew the other Marines were counting on me.”
Finally after seven minutes of fighting, a fellow squad member was able to relieve Goebel. Goebel went to find Petty Officer 3rd Class Alexander Federov, a Navy Corpsman assigned to the battalion.
“I immediately applied pressure to his wound,” said Federov, a close friend of Goebel’s. “It was all I really could do.”
“He was very coherent considering he had been bleeding for 10 minutes,” recalls Federov. “From a medical stand point he should have lost consciousness, but he was calm, joking and even singing.”
Goebel was successful because he stayed calm and remembered his training. His dedication was vital during his effort to repel the enemy attack.
Federov describes his friend as “the type of person who will make you smile in the worse of situations.”
“When you felt life couldn’t get any worse, he was always saying something goofy to lighten the mood,” said Federov.
His peers describe him as a humble, calm, brave and “great guy”. Now Goebel stands anxiously behind 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment’s formation to receive the Silver Star award for his actions in Afghanistan.
“I’m just nervous I won’t remember all the commands for the ceremony,” admits Goebel. His voice sounds calm, but he jokes that he’s more nervous about receiving the award then when he got shot.
Goebel is standing on 5th Marine’s parade deck, looking for his friend Federov 45 minutes later. In a couple months he’ll be back in Afghanistan, this time with 2nd Battalion, but right now relaxing is the only thing on his mind.
Goebel opens his award for a picture with a fellow Marine while standing on the parade deck. “Thank God he didn’t ask me to put it in my right hand,” jokes Goebel with a grin. “I’m just tired of shaking hands, it hurts after awhile.”
Goebel locates Federov across the parade deck and heads toward him, he’s clearly happy to be out of the limelight. His humility and calmness gets him through another day.
Article by Lance Cpl. Timothy J. Lenzo, 1st Marine Division