Buck, a gunnery sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, stood in a sniper’s direct line of fire in order to help a close friend (Sergeant Nick Walsh) who had just been hit. As he tried to drag Sgt. Walsh to safety behind a nearby Humvee, Buck endured multiple gunshots from the sniper, including shots to his arm and leg. Despite the injuries and blood loss, Buck remained in control and directed his fellow Marines as they evacuated him and Sgt. Walsh to the combat hospital.
Over the ensuing two years, Buck underwent numerous multiple surgeries and extensive rehabilitation. In August 2009, roughly two years after the shooting that nearly killed him, Doyle deployed to Afghanistan for another combat tour. He served for another 3½ years in the Marines after the May 2007 incident, including being promoted to Master Sergeant.
Buck Doyle received a Bronze Star Medal with combat distinguishing device for attempting to save Sgt. Walsh’s life. Doyle bristles at the idea of honors and commendations in general, saying that his fulfillment comes not from ribbons or medals. “I don’t really think about awards at all. You do your job, and if you have the opportunity to go above and beyond your duties, then that’s the reward in itself,” he says. “The award for me is the brotherhood. If you are accepted in that brotherhood, that’s the greatest award you can receive. For me, my award is having Nick’s parents regard me as part of their family – that’s a huge award. Hearing the story that Nick spoke of me the whole time to his parents, that he regarded me as a brother. That is the eternal reward that no colonel can think about giving me, so I regard that responsibility and honor of serving with those guys as the award.”
Buck subsequently retired from the Marine Corps, although he has deployed overseas as a contractor. He lives with his wife Kyla and his two daughters in Utah.