Sgt. Franklin Simmons
2nd Battalion, 7th Marines
Farah, Afghanistan, Aug. 8, 2008
Award: Silver Star

In August 2008, then-Cpl. Franklin Simmons was serving in Afghanistan with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines as a Force Recon platoon team leader and designated marksman. While conducting clearing operations in the village of Shewan, Cpl. Simmons’ platoon was ambushed by a numerically superior enemy force. Volleys of intense rocket propelled grenade and machine gun fire disabled one of the platoon’s vehicles and trapped several Marines in the kill zone. Without regard for his own safety, Cpl. Simmons exposed himself to intense enemy rocket propelled grenade and machine gun fire as he crawled to the top of a berm to locate targets with his Mark 11 sniper rifle. He resolutely ignored enemy machine gun rounds impacting within a foot of his position as he calmly employed his weapon to kill the enemy firing at his fellow Marines in the kill zone. Remaining in this exposed position to get the necessary observation of his targets, he killed an estimated 18 enemy fighters and wounded at least two others. Cpl. Simmons’ devastating fires during an 8-hour battle in oppressive heat were critical in saving the lives of his fellow Marines

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22 thoughts on “MARINE OF THE WEEK:”

  1. Thank you so much for your service. I am so humbled by your courage and proud to be an American in the country you have served so faithfully and admirably.

  2. Semper Fi Marine. Its Marines like you that make us proud to have worn the same uniform. Your courage and skill under fire is most admirable and we thank you for your service from the bottom of our hearts.

  3. Cpl. Simmons. Not just a Marine, but Force Recon! And Sniper! In my book it’s hard to get any more Alpha Male than that! I surmise 20 shots 18 kills, 2 critically wounded. A judicious use of ammo! RECON! OOH-RRAHHH! SEMPER FI!

  4. Good job Marine! You did what you were trained for and you saved your battle buddies! I am proud to say we have worn the same uniform and done the same job in our beloved Corps!

    Paul Reyes
    United States Marund Corps (ret)
    RVN – 70/72
    MOS – 8541 now 0317
    Semper Fi !!!

  5. Thank you Sgt. Franklin Simmons.
    2nd Battalion, 7th Marines I served with in RVN 1967 as 0311.
    May our Lord over watch you and those you serve with.
    VA Chaplain Retired
    John Power

  6. Sgt Simmons,
    We would have expected nothing less but selfless grit and commitment from a United States Marine.
    God bless you Sargent from Father of a U.S. Marine, veteran of Fallujah and Afghanistan.
    You’ve upheld the traditions of the Greatest Fighting Force on the face of this planet.
    Your actions make an olde Navy vet stand a little straighter with pride.
    BJ Mackay (Navy Riverine Force) Vietnam

  7. Sgt. Simmons
    I am proud of your courage and commitment to our Corp. this is what out star and stripes is about. Not all Americans understand this. I hope all those who kneel during our National Anthem realize that what we do for our nation is more valuable than disrespecting it.
    I am a retired Marine and I will always salute those oh me fellow brothers and sisters. Once a Marine Always a Marine

    Gysgt. G.E. Navarro

  8. I am proud of you. Thank you for your courage and focus. I am glad you were there when your team needed someone. As a four year Marine who was never in a battle or firefight, I will never know what that day in August 2008 and all the other days you spent in Afghanistan were like. Semper Fi brother.

  9. Semper Fi to this brave Marine. I used to think when I read stories like this when I first joined the Marines, way back in 1964, that this was the exception to the rule. Surely such bravely was above and beyond the call of duty. Then, I was sent into combat with the First Battalion, Ninth Marines (the Walking Dead) in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam from 1966 to the end of 1967. After serving with the 9th Marines in some of the heaviest combat areas of the Vietnam War, in forward firebases very close to the DMZ where the hard corps NVA were fighting against us. I routinely saw examples of bravery very similar to the one described, and they occurred time and time again. It was then that I learned that this is what we do as Marines. It is why we won battle after battle, from Dern Tripoli, to Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, to the Chosin Reservoir, the Battle of Hue, Operation Enduring Freedom, and continuing battles in Iraq and Afghanistan today. When I was a Drill Instructor, I used to emphasize to my recruits, we are Marines, and that Semper Fidelis we say to each other is more than mere words, it is the very Esprit de corps we all share as Marines, where we never let down our fellow Marines and do whatever it takes when we are called upon to support our fellow Marines and our country, up to and including our lives, if necessary. Not to take away from what this brave young Marine has done, but, it exemplifies the very spirit of being a Marine! It is what we expect from each other and no less! Semper Fi to all my Marine comrades!

    1. Phil what company were you with? I was attached to 1/9 end of June 67, notice you didn’t mention operations in Vietnam. 1/9 was on a few. Where were you 2 July 1967? Murray 1371 Vietnam Dec 66 to Aug68, back in May69 to Aug 69 many operations with 1/9, 2/9, 3/9, 2/26 and others.

  10. Sgt. Simmons, you are a hero and I am very proud of you! I have never had the honor of serving, but in retirement, I now volunteer for an organization called S.O.S. (Soldiers Organized Services), and we provide free airport transportation for active-duty Marines, their families, and sweethearts between the MCAGCC in Twentynine Palms, CA, and area transportation hubs. I never cease to be amazed at the young men and women of the United States Marine Corps. They are simply the best and brightest young people our Country has to offer, and whenever I lose faith in the youth of our Country, especially in this current climate of anarchy, I just think of the young Marines who ride with me, and I am reassured. Your bravery on the battlefield not only speaks to your character, but of the training, discipline, and brotherhood within the Marine Corps. I am grateful to you for safeguarding my Freedom, and I wish you all the best!

  11. Semper Fi,
    Me-0331 ‘nam 2nd Bn 4th Reg 3rd MarDiv
    YOU-B*lls of Brass & Hell of a Shooter !
    OutFu*kingStanding Marine!

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