While the MSM has been wrestling with the topic "Why aren't we talking more about heroes?", I thought about titling this post "The Heroes You Don't Know".
This story is from the 3rd Cav Public Affairs Officer. At the end you'll notice comments from someone who is discussed here every once in awhile - Colonel H.R. McMaster:
Vines Pins Valor Medals on 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment Troopers
By Sgt. 1st Class Donald Sparks
3d U.S. CAVALRY PAO
Thanksgiving Day for several troopers of the 3rd Armored Cavalry
Regiment included turkey, dressing, sweet potato pie and medals for
Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, who commands the Multinational Corps Iraq, paid
a visit to Forward Operating Base Sykes to personally commend the
troopers for their acts of heroism and to thanks the troopers of the
Regiment for their sacrifices in the war against terrorism.
“Some time today on television, a sports announcer will talk about the
hero of a football game,” Vines said before a formation of nearly 150
3rd ACR troopers. “Well these Soldiers standing before me are the true
heroes of our nation. It’s an honor to spend this Thanksgiving with you
and I’m proud of what you’re doing for our country and the people of
Capt. Daniel Anderson, Chief Warrant Officer Milton Walker, Sgt. Jerome
Shai, and Sgt. Kevin Doyle were pinned the Air Medal with Valor for
their heroic actions on Aug. 29.
Assigned to 1159th Medical Company (Air Ambulance), 36th Medical
Evacuation Battalion, the aeromedevac team conducted a mission, under
direct enemy fire without concern for their personal safety, for two
urgent-surgical pilots from a downed OH-58D Kiowa Warrior aircraft in
the city of Tal Afar.
In less than seven minutes from notification, the crew – Smuggler 62,
lifted off under night vision goggle conditions. Their aircraft
received small arms fire to the rotor blades and inside the pilot and
Shai, from Gambrills, Md., was the first of the crew to identify and
report the small arms fire and the location of the firers. Maintaining
strict composure, Shai rapidly assessed the aircraft for damage and
reported to the pilot commander, Anderson, that the aircraft was
capable to continue the mission
Anderson, from Sacramento, Calif., and Walker, from Bel Air, Md.,
immediately executed emergency procedures to avoid the continuing
volley of fire from the ground.
With concern for the pilots on the ground, Smuggler 62 continued to fly
toward the downed aircraft. Once on the ground Anderson instructed the
crew chief to conduct a physical inspection of the Smuggler 62 aircraft
which identified multiple indications of small arms impact and bullet
fragments within the aircraft.
After exiting the aircraft, Doyle, from Peabody, Mass., began searching
for the location of the casualties. Doyle, armed with his M-4, ran to
two Bradley Fighting Vehicles near the landing zone and received
negative confirmation on the location of the casualties.
He identified two dismounted Soldiers and ran to their location. Upon
his arrival to their location, enemy small arms fire was heard and they
assumed protective fighting positions.
Doyle continued the pursuit across open ground, within enemy small arms
range, to locate the injured pilots and located the patients in a third
Bradley where he organized two litter teams and loaded the patients
onto the aircraft.
“The bravery and the courage of these air crew members of the 1159th
Air Medevac exemplifies what is good about Army Aviation and the
efforts of our troopers here Iraq,” said Maj. John Scott, commander,
Longknife Squadron, 3rd ACR. “I’m extremely proud of them.”
There's a lot more in the Extended Section.