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The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the

NAVY CROSS MEDAL posthumous  to



Co K, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine Division


The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Hospitalman Second Class Terrence E. Kierznowski, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Corpsman with Company K, Third Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 12 September 1969, while Company K was occupying a night defensive position in mountainous territory north of the Elliot Combat Base in Quang Tri Province, the Marines came under a heavy volume of mortar fire which immediately resulted in several casualties among men in forward fighting holes. Responding immediately to the situation, Petty Officer Kierznowski left his covered position and, running to the side of a seriously wounded man, commenced treating him. While he was performing this lifesaving task, Marines nearby shouted a warning of additional incoming rounds and called to him to seek cover. Although fully award of the possible consequences of his action, Petty Officer Kierznowski quickly pushed the wounded man down and, covering him with his own body, absorbed the full impact of three mortar rounds which detonated close to them. By his courage, inspiring initiative, and selfless devotion to duty and to his fellow man, Petty Officer Kierznowski sacrificed his own life to save that of his patient, thereby upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.