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SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – Now to a weekly segment you will only see right here on CBS4.

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Every Friday, in partnership with the Florida Panthers, we put the spotlight on a hero among us; men or women who have gone beyond the call of duty for our country.

U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Lance Corporal Kevin Menting. (Source: CBS4)

This week we’re meeting U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Lance Corporal Kevin Menting.

Menting says he chose the Marine Corps as a challenge after serving our country for four years.

This Purple Heart recipient was deployed twice. His first deployment was to Iraq and he says at first, it was tough not knowing what to expect.

“You get shot at for the first time and you say ‘oh man,’” said Lance Corporal Menting.

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He was an infantry machine gunner, going on patrols, raids and missions but April 2007 by far was the toughest time for his platoon.

“I was awarded the purple heart. A suicide dump truck came in. There were only 12 of us Marines. We were ambushed after that by a bunch of insurgents. We were pinned down, we made it eventually and came out alive,” said Lance Corporal Menting.

But despite nearly losing his life, he says joining the Marine Corps is the best decision he has ever made.

“I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for that decision,” said Lance Corporal Menting.

Lance Corporal Menting was honored at a recent Florida Panthers game and as he held his children and had his wife by his side, he thanked the fan filled arena as he remembered those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

“My greatest honor was actually serving this country and doing it with all my brothers, especially the ones that never made it home,” said Lance Corporal Menting.

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On behalf of the Florida Panthers and CBS4, we would like to say thank you U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Lance Corporal Kevin Menting for your service and dedication to our country.

Marybel Rodriguez