Navy Cross recipient Staff Sgt. Cliff Wooldridge, who killed a Taliban fighter in hand-to-hand combat, has left the Marine Corps after spending nine years in the service.  “I enjoyed my time in the Marine Corps,” Wooldridge told Marine Corps Times. “It’s had a huge impact on my life. I’m going to miss the men I’ve served with and miss being in the fight with them.”

Wooldridge, 28, said his last day in the Marines was Tuesday. He said his time in the Corps made him appreciate life and not take it for granted.  “It made me a man and I am forever grateful for the men who mentored me and led by example,” he said.

Wooldridge’s tale of bravery in Afghanistan is legendary. In 2010 he was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, when his company ran into “a hornet’s nest” of insurgents, his company commander Maj. Carin Calvin later recounted.
After shooting four enemy fighters, then-Cpl. Wooldridge ran out of ammunition and ended up in a life-and-death struggle with a man who tried to pull the pin on a grenade attached to Wooldridge’s vest.

Read more at Marine Corps Times

Image courtesy of Cpl. Sarah Anderson