A U.S. Marine Corps Marine in Okinawa, injured while helping victims of a traffic accident, was recognized by the Japan Self-Defense Force.

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Marine Sgt. Justin Erler came across a nightmarish scene of twisted metal, broken glass, flipped automobiles and severely injured people on the Okinawa Expressway during the wee hours of Dec. 1.

A passenger vehicle struck a compact car, which flipped onto its roof, said an Okinawa Prefectural Police spokesman. Both were driven by Japanese nationals. read more