A Marine Corps sergeant from Lexington has been awarded the Silver Star for his actions during a firefight in Afghanistan in 2009.
Sgt. Eric Walker, a 1998 graduate of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, also was named Marine of the Year in 2010 in recognition of his conduct in the same battle.
The Silver Star — the nation's third-highest military decoration for valor — was presented to Walker last month at Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he is stationed.
The battle occurred in Bala Morghab, Afghanistan, in November 2009.
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According to military accounts, Walker rushed through gunfire and exploding grenades to assist a Marine corpsman, another Marine and two Afghan commandos who had been wounded by snipers.
Walker directed covering fire and pulled one wounded man to safety, following instructions from the corpsman to offer assistance. He then led the injured men to a casualty collection point.
Hospital corpsman 1st Class Amilcar Rodriguez also received the Silver Star for his actions during the fight.
Walker has been a Marine since 2003.