If war is madness, then sometimes the best way to get through it is temporary insanity. Corporal Marco Martinez proved this one day on the edge of an Iraqi town where he was sure he was going to die.

With his squad leader wounded and fellow Marines in trouble, Martinez squared off against a handful of terrorists holed up in a safe house. Having only a tree to protect him from a barrage of bullets, he found an enemy rocket launcher on the ground.

What came next won him the Navy Cross. (You can find the rest of Martinez's story in the Hard Corps: From Gangster to Marine Hero.)

"I started sprinting back to a different palm tree some 25 yards away. My back was a bull's-eye. On the way back, I noticed an enemy RPG launcher on the ground. To this day, I can't fully explain what I did next: I snatched up the weapon, even though the motion slowed me down and gave the enemy more time to shoot me."

>Part 2>