Monday May 20, 2013
U.S. Soldier Receives Distinguished Service CrossSalem-News.com
With his Special Forces team surrounded by Taliban fighters, the soildier volunteered to lead a relief force to rescue 2 wounded colleagues.
(FORT BRAGG, N.C.) - A Special Forces Soldier who crawled 200 feet while being fired upon to save wounded colleagues, then led a group of besieged Soldiers to safety, received the Army's second-highest award for valor, April 30th.
Master Sergeant Brendan O'Connor received the Distinguished Service Cross in a ceremony April 30th at Fort Bragg for his actions in Afghanistan. The award is second in achievement only to the Medal of Honor.
"He made a conscious decision to do whatever it took to get to our wounded Soldiers," said Maj. Sheffield Ford, the team's cmdr during the June 2006 battle in southern Afghanistan.
O'Connor, 47, doesn't believe he is a hero. He said that police officers and firefighters are courageous every day and that he was only completing his mission.
"I am being recognized for a moment of courage," said O'Connor, whose wife and four children attended the ceremony. "I firmly believe other Soldiers in my place would have done the same thing."
With his Special Forces team surrounded by Taliban fighters, O'Connor volunteered to lead a relief force to rescue 2 wounded colleagues. He got to the edge of a field, but intense enemy machine-gun fire made him turn back. After shedding his body armor so he could press himself flat in a ditch, he crawled the last 200 feet to the wounded Soldiers.
Taliban fire was so close that it sheared off the blades of tall grass around the ditch as he crawled. Finally reaching the 2 wounded Soldiers, he stabilized them and led the relief force back to safety.
Admiral Eric T. Olson, commander. of U.S. Special Operations Command, and Lieutenant General Robert W. Wagner, commanding general of the Army Special Ops Command, presented the award to O'Connor.
Olson, who recounted the battle in his speech, described O'Connor's actions as legendary.
"Master Sgt. O'Connor exemplifies the spirit and ethos of these warriors," Olson said. "We stand in quiet awe and in the deepest admiration." The ceremony marked only the second time the award has been presented to a Soldier for actions in Afghanistan.
O'Connor is assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group. The unit is based at Fort Bragg, home to the Army's Special Ops Command and the 82nd Airborne Division.
Articles for May 10, 2008 | Articles for May 11, 2008 | Articles for May 12, 2008
Sign Up Now!
|Contact: email@example.com | Copyright © 2013 Salem-News.com | news tips & press releases: firstname.lastname@example.org.|