On March 25, 2005 I first posted the story of this truly heroic group of Kentucky National Guardmen and Guardswomen. At first it was just a press release from Central Command. As I follwed the story, the people in the unit emerged as individuals, and as heroes.
At approximately noon on March 20, 26 terrorists were killed, seven wounded, and one captured when they attacked a coalition force convoy on the outskirts of Baghdad in the Salman Pak area. Seven soldiers were injured during the attack. A U.S. military convoy and its security element from the 617 Military Police Company was patrolling when the convoy was ambushed by approximately 40 – 50 terrorists with rocket propelled grenades and small arms fire. The convoy became disabled and the 617 MP’s maneuvered to flank the terrorists.
Pretty dry, huh?
The Kentucky National Guardsmen were outnumbered and under heavy gunfire when they counterattacked Iraqi insurgents who ambushed a coalition convoy southeast of Baghdad. A 30-minute firefight ensued on a Sunday morning, pitting 10 guardsmen against dozens of insurgents. When the shooting ended, 26 guerrillas lay dead and another was mortally wounded, while six others were wounded and another was captured unharmed. The guardsmen didnâ€™t go unscathed. Three members of the military police unit were wounded and later transported for medical treatment in Germany, where they are recovering.
These ten men and women have probably been awarded more medals for heroism than any other similar group in this war.
SSG Timothy Nein: Silver Star upgraded to Distinguished Service Cross
Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester: Silver Star
Sgt. Jason I. Mike: Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with V device upgraded to Silver Star
Sgt. Dustin Morris: Army Commendation Medal with V device
Spc. Casey Cooper: Bronze Star with V device, Purple Heart
Sgt. Joseph Riviera: Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with V device
Pfc. Bryan Mack: Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with V device
Spc. Willam Haynes II: Bronze Star with V device, Purple Heart
Spc. Ashley Pullen: Bronze Star with V device
Spc. Jesse Ordunez: Army Commendation Medal with V device
On this Veteran’s Day 2007, think about these men and women who fought, and shed their blood, for us.