On October 3, 1967, Colonial F.J. Gilhuly awarded Sergeant Philip E. Ayers the Navy Commendation Metal for service as set forth in the following citation: "For heroic achievement while serving as a squad leader with Company "G," 2nd Battalion, 26th Marines with the 3rd Marine Division in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On May 17, 1967, during Operation Prairie IV near Phu Oc in Quang Tri Province, Corporal Ayers' Squad which was maneuvering to a position on his platoon's right flank, came under intense mortar fire and immediately sustained numerous causalities. Quickly evaluating the situation, he skillfully deployed the remainder of his squad to covered positions and then repeatedly moved across the fire-swept terrain to administer aid to the wounded and assist in their evaluation. Returning to his squad through the heavy enemy mortar fire, he continued to direct and prepare his unit to continue its attack against the enemy. His exceptional professionalism and bold initiative were an inspiration to all who observed him and contributed significantly to the accomplishment of his unit's mission. By his courage, outstanding leadership and selfless devotion to duty at great personal risk, Corporal Ayers upheld the finest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. Corporal Ayers is authorized to wear the Combat "V." This book tells of my journey from being a high school drop-out to becoming a Marine. It uncovers the making of a Marine. It depicts the horrors of combat in Vietnam. I believe every person who served in the military is personified in this story. It is a tribute to their courage, service with honor and devotion to their country It is dedicated to all combat veterans. Thank you for your service SF Dr. Phil Ayers is currently pastoring Glade Creek Baptist Church in Blue Ridge, Virginia. He has served GCBC as senior pastor for 29 years.