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BOSTON - Gov. Charlie Baker awarded the Soldier's Medal to Staff Sgt. Mark Welch, Massachusetts Army National Guard, on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at the State House.
Baker presented the award to Welch for his actions during the 2013 Boston Marathon when two sequential explosions occurred approximately 100 meters apart at the finish line on Boylston Street. Welch rushed toward the area despite the risk that more explosions were imminent. Welch rendered assistance to police and first responders and provided medical aid to wounded civilians and established a secure perimeter.
On a day when three people were killed and over 170 wounded; at a time when a third bomb could reasonably be expected to explode, Welch set himself apart by running towards the danger and doing everything within his power to help those around him. Welch's heroic actions directly contributed to saving the lives of others, while endangering himself. His actions, in the face of danger, exemplified his courage and selfless service.
Baker thanked Welch for his selfless service and stated: "On behalf of the people of Massachusetts, know we admire and appreciate the work that is done everyday by the members of the Guard in the commonwealth."
Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice, the adjutant general, stated: "I am honored to be a part of this ceremony and what we have are heroes in our midst that step forward and do the right thing which is what makes Boston Strong."
Three Soldiers from the Massachusetts National Guard have now been awarded the Soldier's Medal for their selfless actions to save lives at the scene of the Boston Marathon Bombing: Capt. Steve Fiola, Master Sgt. Bernard Madore and Welch.
Baker awarded Fiola and Madore the Soldier's Medal in April 2013 during the annual Salem Muster for there heroic actions during the Boston Marathon Bombing.
The Official Presidential Citation Reads:
"The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, 2 July 1926, has awarded the SOLDIER'S MEDAL to STAFF SERGEANT MARK R. WELCH, 1060th TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, 164th TRANSPORTATION BATTALION, 151ST REGIONAL SUPPORT GROUP,
FOR HEROISM: on 15 April 2013 at the Boston Marathon when two sequential explosions occurred approximately 100 meters apart at the finish line on Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Staff Sergeant Welch rushed toward the area despite the risk that more explosions were imminent. He rendered assistance to police and first responders and provided medical aid to wounded civilians and established a secure perimeter. His actions, in the face of danger, exemplify the courage and selfless service of a Noncommissioned officer, Staff Sergeant Welch's actions have brought credit to himself, the 164th Transportation Battalion, the 151st Regional Support Group and the United States Army."
Command Sergeant Major
Carlos Ramos Rivera
State Command Sergeant Major