Marine lauded for heroic act

Injured Friday while collecting for charity at Augusta Best Buy

Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Cpl. Phillip Duggan.
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A Marine stabbed while collecting Toys for Tots said he thought of all the people inside Best Buy on crowded Black Friday when he tried to intercept a fleeing shoplifter.

Cpl. Phillip Duggan puts together physical training equipment at the U.S. Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center. The Marine reservist is a graduate of Cross Creek High School.   Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Cpl. Phillip Duggan puts together physical training equipment at the U.S. Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center. The Marine reservist is a graduate of Cross Creek High School.

"After we got him to the ground, and we got the knife away from him, I felt a pinch on my back," said Cpl. Phillip Duggan.

Only then did Duggan, a 2004 graduate of Cross Creek High School, realize he'd suffered a knife wound. His reaction?

"I can't believe he messed up my uniform," Duggan said.

The Marine reservist, who is currently on active duty, has been presented a new dress blouse by the North Augusta Marine Corps League so he can continue his assignment, which is serving at Marine Corps funerals.

A former teacher wasn't surprised to hear that Duggan stepped in to help.

Duggan was the kind of student who would stay late to build scenery for a high school drama production, said Leah Soderberg, his former drama coach at Cross Creek.

He was a fine actor, dancer and acrobat who played the lead in The Diviners and has returned since graduation to mentor kids, she said.

"He's got a good sense of humor and a very good code of ethics," Soderberg said.

Duggan acknowledged Monday that Marines are a "band of brothers" and that he wasn't acting alone when he, Cpl. William Washington, Sgt. Joshua Aurelio and Gunnery Sgt. Robert Ritchie took down a Waynesboro, Ga., man who'd just escaped from Best Buy security -- and had a knife.

Tracey Attaway, the alleged shoplifter, remained in the Richmond County jail Monday on armed robbery and aggravated assault charges.

The Marines don't expect trouble when they collect for Toys for Tots, but as Marines they always are prepared, said Washington, who helped hold the struggling Attaway down until police arrived.

"We don't go looking for the axis of evil; it just sometimes pulls out in front of us," said Chief Warrant Officer Gregory Smith, who commands the unit that has led the Toys for Tots drive in Augusta for 21 years.

The toy drive will continue, and the same Marines will be collecting toys around the area Wednesday through Saturday, the local Toys for Tots coordinator, Gunnery Sgt. Sherry Barrera, said.

Working through the United Way's Christmas Clearinghouse, which verifies all applicants for toys, Marines expect to provide toys to 8,000 children this year, Barrera said.

RAINIER EHRHARDT/STAFF

Cpl. Phillip Duggan, a Marine reservist who is currently on active duty, was stabbed in the back while trying to help subdue a fleeing shoplifter at Best Buy on Black Friday. Duggan was there collecting Christmas toys for needy children. 

Gemma May, 10, of Thomson, donates toys as Cpl. Gilbert Yates assists her at Walmart in Thomson. Collections around the area will continue during the holiday season. \nCpl. Phillip Duggan speaks to the media at the U.S. Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center, Monday, Nov. 29, 2010, in Augusta, Ga. Duggan was stabbed by a fleeing shoplifter at Best Buy on Black Friday. 

Above,

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Farmboy
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Farmboy 11/29/10 - 06:36 pm
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This boy should get a Purple

This boy should get a Purple Heart. What an awesome guy. That is what real soldiers do. :)

Taylor B
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Taylor B 11/29/10 - 06:49 pm
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That Alpha uniform is

That Alpha uniform is expensive, Lol!

RogueKnight
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RogueKnight 11/29/10 - 06:57 pm
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Bravo, Cpl. Duggan! Semper

Bravo, Cpl. Duggan! Semper Fi, and Merry Christmas!

GO_BAMA_2010_ROLL_TIDE
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GO_BAMA_2010_ROLL_TIDE 11/29/10 - 07:05 pm
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Semper Fi, Cpl. Good job.

Semper Fi, Cpl. Good job.

LouisianaMarine
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LouisianaMarine 11/29/10 - 07:50 pm
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Correction, Farmboy...and I'm

Correction, Farmboy...and I'm sure it was an honest mistake, but Marines and soldiers are two different 'species'.

bclicious
770
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bclicious 11/29/10 - 10:24 pm
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Maybe best buy will do

Maybe best buy will do something nice for this guy. Give him a gift card or good discount on some stuff. After all, he risked his life saving your property.

Josie lenartz
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Josie lenartz 11/29/10 - 11:37 pm
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Hero's are rare these days.

Hero's are rare these days. God bless this marine.

wafflehead
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wafflehead 11/30/10 - 03:15 am
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Semper Fi

Semper Fi

bclicious
770
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bclicious 11/30/10 - 04:12 am
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Doesn't negate the fact that

Doesn't negate the fact that he performed a courageous act that protected the property of best buy, the customers of best buy, and saved the day because best buy was too cheap to keep off-duty deputies at the black friday event from beginning to end.

RAWR, I can read just fine. RAWR, don't ever question me again!

TrukinRanger
1748
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TrukinRanger 11/30/10 - 07:12 am
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Best Buy should give him the
Unpublished

Best Buy should give him the laptop that the crook was trying to steal

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 11/30/10 - 07:27 am
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Semper Fi! OOOORAHH Marine!

Semper Fi! OOOORAHH Marine! In the Army we have a medal called "The Soldiers Medal" given for civic heroism that is not related to combat. I am not sure if the Marines have a medal like that, but it seems this man deserves a "slap on the back" instead of a knife in it.

I will be home for Christmas and I intend on dropping by and shaking this Marine's hand as I give him our family's donation.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 11/30/10 - 07:50 am
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Yeah. "We have some ARVN

Yeah. "We have some ARVN laptops for trade. Never been fired and only dropped once."

justus4
113
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justus4 11/30/10 - 08:34 am
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Performing your duties to the
Unpublished

Performing your duties to the best of your ability is NOT, repeat NOT reason to be awarded a specific award. The marine's immediate sergeant can nominate him, then the Chain-of-Command must decide whom will be awarded. Here is the secret: There are only a specific number of awards available, so he would be competing with marines in Europe, Asia, Afghanistan, or Iraq. So for the Average Joe his act may seem heroic, it would be more appropriate that the local Mayor recognize his efforts due to proper military protocol.

Taylor B
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Taylor B 11/30/10 - 10:27 am
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Justus has a point. Maybe

Justus has a point. Maybe this Marine can throw out the first pitch at the new stadium...

inthearea
15
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inthearea 11/30/10 - 11:59 am
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Farmboy, I agree with you.

Farmboy, I agree with you. What this gentleman did was above and beyond his call of duty. It would be nice to see more people stepping up to the plate as Cpl. Phillip Duggan did. Great job Cpl. Duggan. I salute you.

Indigo
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Indigo 11/30/10 - 12:03 pm
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Hang a new sign in the

Hang a new sign in the window:

SHOPLIFTERS WILL BE CLOTHES-LINED!

jtra1n
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jtra1n 11/30/10 - 12:25 pm
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Best line "We don't go

Best line "We don't go looking for the axis of evil; it just sometimes pulls out in front of us,"

Interesting spotlight of his artistic prowess before becoming an American hero. Glee Clubbers have a new idol!

urright
465
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urright 11/30/10 - 12:29 pm
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Where will the Marines be

Where will the Marines be collecting over the next few days? I would love to put a toy or two in the box in honor of Cpl. Duggan.

usafvet
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usafvet 11/30/10 - 12:29 pm
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Question for Justus4. What

Question for Justus4. What was your contribution to the United States Armed Forces?

Suzy Q
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Suzy Q 11/30/10 - 12:31 pm
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Cpl. Duggan should receive

Cpl. Duggan should receive some kind of award for a job well done. While we're at it, I'd like to nominate Mr. Attaway for a Darwin Award.

Seriously.. who tries to shoplift with a bunch of Marines standing in front of the store???

More chlorine for the gene pool please......

Brad Owens
4906
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Brad Owens 11/30/10 - 12:54 pm
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Thanks Gunny, I love

Thanks Gunny,

I love everyone trying to be a military expert on here. I know the Army regs but as you can see from my posting above, I don't know much about Marine awards, except you all don't give them out like candy. I do think this Marine deserves something for acting instead of watching in that situation.

OOORAHH,

Brad

Proud Marine Mom
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Proud Marine Mom 11/30/10 - 01:17 pm
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God Bless you Cpl. Phillip

God Bless you Cpl. Phillip Duggan, I agree, Cpl Duggan deserves the Purple Heart! Leave it to the Marines to always be prepared, nothing absoutly NOTHING can compare to USMC training~ God Bless the Corps~ Semper Fi!

Hatfield0278
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Hatfield0278 11/30/10 - 01:19 pm
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Thank you Cpl. Duggan! I

Thank you Cpl. Duggan! I don't know you but I'm proud of you.

03 Bullet Stopper
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03 Bullet Stopper 11/30/10 - 01:45 pm
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Oorah, Gunny, thank you for

Oorah, Gunny, thank you for tightening-up jutus4 (by the time I created a new user account to do it myself, you were already on it). Anyway, while the Navy and Marine Corps Medal would absolutely be appropriate in this situation, this young devil dog will probably just get a NAM. Either way, he deserves to be recognized. Semper Fi, Cpl. Duggan, get some!

staind620
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staind620 11/30/10 - 02:06 pm
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The Navy and Marine Corps

The Navy and Marine Corps Medal "Distinguishing oneself by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy. For acts of lifesaving, or attempted lifesaving, it is required that the action be performed at the risk of one's own life". Sounds like it fits the circumstance to me.

Patty-P
3520
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Patty-P 11/30/10 - 02:12 pm
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The streets of Augusta could

The streets of Augusta could almost be called a 'war zone'. I applaud his efforts. Plus, my daddy was a Marine. Semper Fi!

dvine89
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dvine89 11/30/10 - 02:47 pm
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As the proud mother of a new

As the proud mother of a new United States Marine, PFC Cody Pierce, I first want to thank those that support and encourage our military members. To Gunny....Oooh Rah!! Your words were well spoken, direct, and to the point...THANK YOU! You saved me from having to act out of character and speak to Justus4 in a way not fitting of a lady!! I can't help but wonder if Justus, was at one point in his life, overlooked for an award and still looking for his big boy panties over it....or is simply a coward and could never fathom what it must be like to be a devil dog?!

I not only think that Cpl. Phillip Duggan should receive recognition, but the team of brothers that was with him by his side! They are Marines...and what a statement their support made to those who witnessed this act, and to those who will read about it!

..."he thought of all the people inside Best Buy". Putting others before himself, acting in an unselfish manner, just as his USMC training helped to teach him. Asking for nothing in return, and thinking only of his damaged uniform :0), this young man made a difference that day by sacraficing his own well being!! I am blessed, to be a part of this new "family" known as the United States Marine Corps and am as proud of this young man as I would be my own son. Semper Fi Cpl Duggan!!

Gunny
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Gunny 11/30/10 - 03:05 pm
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Agreed 03 Bullet Stopper, he

Agreed 03 Bullet Stopper, he probably will recieve a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal but his actions written in this outstanding article befit that of the "Heroe's Medal" The Navy and Marine Corps Medal. It was just unfortunate that someone had to get on here and start making up stuff to start an argument and detach from the point of this article that is praising this fine Marine.

Happy Holidays to all of you and yours; Semper Fidelis.

Natasha
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Natasha 11/30/10 - 04:28 pm
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Thank you Gunny!!!! Your

Thank you Gunny!!!! Your previous post said it all for me:-). Cpl. Duggan, Thank you so much for your service. Semper Fidelis Marine!

Rolling Eyes
247
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Rolling Eyes 11/30/10 - 04:32 pm
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Justus, this Marine was in a

Justus, this Marine was in a civilian setting where civilian police are called on to handle such situations, he was NOT under any obligation to do what he did. The fact that he did step up was above and beyond what was expected of him is praiseworthy. Kudos to you Cpl. Phillip Duggan!

BTW, great 12:27 post Gunny.

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