Corporal Aaron M. Shareno deployed to Iraq on July 18, 2005 with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment (2/2). Serving near the city of Karma, Iraq, Cpl. Shareno was 5 months into his deployment when he was wounded by a suicide vehicle-borne IED on December 14th, just 11 days before Christmas. His platoon had established fighting positions near a palm grove, approximately 25 meters from the edge of the road, when an insurgent drove his vehicle into the side of a 7 ton truck, detonating the explosives and instantly vaporizing the vehicle. The explosion sent shrapnel and chunks of metal through the air, knocking Cpl. Shareno and other Marines to the ground. "I got blown forward and a piece of shrapnel traveled through my palm and blew out the left matacarpal in my thumb - just shattered it," recalled Shareno. "When I got blown forward, I remember thinking I'm dead...I fell to my side and felt something was funny, not right...I saw my thumb drooping down...blood flowing out of my palm. It nicked two arteries in my hand. I put pressure on it below the wrist to stop the bleeding." Cpl. Shareno lauded the fast reaction of the Corpsman who treated him on the scene, but could not remember his name. "If I saw his face, I could recognize (him)", Shareno said. "He slapped a tournaquet on my hand...it was a unique experience." Medevac'd to Camp Fallujah Surgical, then ultimately to Balad and Germany before flying back to the United States, Cpl. Shareno regretted not being able to finish his deployment in Iraq. " I was a little shook up...more angry than anything...I (was) two months out (from leaving); ready to reenlist (when) I get hit. I just wanted to finish my pump, I wanted to reenlist and I wanted to continue on with my Marine Corps career." Now at the Wounded Warrior Barracks at Camp Lejeune, Cpl. Shareno is much less angry and is not letting his injuries get in the way of his career. "I plan on retiring from the Marine Corps," says Shereno. "I'm staying til I don't have fun anymore. Right now I'm having tons of fun."