Saturday, June 18, 2005

Woman Soldier Receives Silver Star for Valor in Iraq

We wrote previously about the Nebraska National Guard unit ambushed in Iraq. Now a soldier from the Kentucky MP Company that came to the rescue of the Nebraskans has become the first woman to win a Silver Star since WWII.
DefenseLINK News: Woman Soldier Receives Silver Star for Valor in Iraq: "By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON, June 16, 2005 -- For the first time since World War II, a woman soldier was awarded the Silver Star Medal today in Iraq.

Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester of the 617th Military Police Company, a National Guard unit out of Richmond, Ky., received the Silver Star, along with two other members of her unit, Staff Sgt. Timothy Nein and Spc. Jason Mike, for their actions during an enemy ambush on their convoy. Other members of the unit also received awards. Hester's squad was shadowing a supply convoy March 20 when anti-Iraqi fighters ambushed the convoy. The squad moved to the side of the road, flanking the insurgents and cutting off their escape route. Hester led her team through the 'kill zone' and into a flanking position, where she assaulted a trench line with grenades and M203 grenade-launcher rounds. She and Nein, her squad leader, then cleared two trenches, at which time she killed three insurgents with her rifle. When the fight was over, 27 insurgents were dead, six were wounded, and one was captured."
Thank you Sgt. Hester, Sgt. Nein, Spc. Mike, and the entire 617th for your heroism on that day and every day. An extra thank you, too, for the Nebraska connection.

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