It’s the weekend and time, once again, for our version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacy McCain described as putting pictures of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Jessica Alba in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude.
By SPC Micah E. Clare’ 82nd Airborne Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office.
Army Spc. Monica Brown, a medic from the 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, stands over Forward Operating Base Salerno in Khowst province, Afghanistan. Brown is the second woman since World War II to earn a Silver Star for gallantry in combat.
Brown, recognized for her gallant actions during combat in Afghanistan in 2007, is the second woman soldier since World War II to be awarded a Silver Star. She received the medal from Vice President Richard B. Cheney during a ceremony here March 20.
It was dusk on April 25, 2007, when Brown, a medic from the 82nd Airborne Division’s 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, was on a routine security patrol along the rolling, rocky plains of the isolated Jani Khail district in Afghanistan’s Paktika province when insurgents attacked her convoy.
“We’d been out on the mission for a couple of days,” said Brown, who at the time was attached to the brigade’s 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment’s Troop C. “We had just turned into a wadi (empty river bed) when our gunner yelled at us that the vehicle behind us had hit an (improvised explosive device).”
The soldiers looked out of their windows in time to see one of the struck vehicle’s tires flying through the field next to them. Brown had just opened her door to see what was going on when the attack began.
“I only saw the smoke from the vehicle when suddenly we started taking small-arms fire from all around us,” she said. “Our gunner starting firing back, and my platoon sergeant yelled, ‘Doc! Let’s go.’”
Brown and her platoon sergeant, Staff Sgt. Jose Santos, exited their vehicle, and while under fire, ran the few hundred meters to the site of the downed Humvee.
“Everyone was already out of the burning vehicle,” she said. “But even before I got there, I could tell that two of them were injured very seriously.”
In fact, all five of the passengers who had stumbled out were burned and cut. Two soldiers, Spcs. Stanson Smith and Larry Spray, suffered life-threatening injuries.
With help from two less-injured vehicle crewmen, Sgt. Zachary Tellier and Spc. Jack Bodani, Brown moved the immobile soldiers to a relatively safe distance from the burning Humvee.
“There was pretty heavy incoming fire at this point,” she said.
More at the link.
By Ann Scott Tyson, Washington Post Staff Writer | Friday, June 17, 2005
Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester fought her way through an enemy ambush south of Baghdad, killing three insurgents with her M-4 rifle to save fellow soldiers’ lives — and yesterday became the first woman since World War II to win the Silver Star medal for valor in combat.
The 23-year-old retail store manager from Bowling Green, Ky., won the award for skillfully leading her team of military police soldiers in a counterattack after about 50 insurgents ambushed a supply convoy they were guarding near Salman Pak on March 20.
The medal, rare for any soldier, underscores the growing role in combat of U.S. female troops in Iraq’s guerrilla war, where tens of thousands of American women have served, 36 have been killed and 285 wounded, according to Pentagon figures.
After insurgents hit the convoy with a barrage of fire from machine guns, AK-47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, Hester “maneuvered her team through the kill zone into a flanking position where she assaulted a trench line with grenades and M203 rounds,” according to the Army citation accompanying the Silver Star.
“She then cleared two trenches with her squad leader where she engaged and eliminated three AIF [anti-Iraqi forces] with her M4 rifle. Her actions saved the lives of numerous convoy members,” the citation stated.
Hester, a varsity softball and basketball player in high school, joined the Army in 2001 and was assigned to the Kentucky National Guard’s 617th Military Police Company, based in Richmond, Ky.
A female driver with the unit, Spec. Ashley J. Pullen of Danville, Ky., also won the Bronze Star for her bravery. Pullen laid down fire to suppress insurgents and then “exposed herself to heavy AIF fires in order to provide medical assistance to her critically injured comrades,” saving several lives, her citation said.
Six other soldiers with Hester’s unit won awards for defeating the ambush, leaving 27 insurgents dead, six wounded and one captured. They include Hester’s squad leader, Staff. Sgt. Timothy F. Nein, who also won the Silver Star.
It’s simple: they were soldiers, and they did their duty.