SAN DIEGO (AP) — A Marine based out of Camp Pendleton in Southern California has been awarded the Silver Star for courageous service in the war in Afghanistan.U-T San Diego reports ( ) that Sgt. Philip McCulloch Jr. was honored Friday for his actions in a bloody battle in Sangin, Afghanistan. The Silver Star is the nation's third-highest medal for valor in combat.The firefight began while McCulloch's unit was out on a security patrol. McCulloch says they were surrounded.He was honored for leading his squad in a counterattack that left the fields of Sangin littered with bodies of Taliban fighters.Nicknamed the "prodigy," McCulloch is known as a thorough and thoughtful leader.