A Lexington native has been named Marine of the Year by the USO.
Marine Sgt. Eric Walker received the award Thursday night at the 2010 United Service Organizations' annual gala in Washington.
Walker was cited for bravery while serving as a combat adviser in Afghanistan, working with Marines, Afghan commandos and U.S. Special Operations Forces. When the group came under fire from machine guns, snipers and rocket-propelled grenades, one Marine was struck in the leg by a sniper's bullet.
Walker dragged the wounded Marine to a casualty collection point, then returned to the fight, ultimately directing his group back to friendly lines. They traveled for a mile under continuous enemy fire.
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Walker, 30, a 1998 graduate of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, has been a Marine since 2003. He is now stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Walker and his wife, Kelly, have two children.
The United Service Organizations annually selects one representative each from the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy and Marine Corps to serve as that service branch's member of the year.