Saturday, April 14, 2007

Heroes: PVT Stephen C. Sanford

I was reading Kim Du Toit's article on the MSM's lack of coverage on contemporary heroes. Well said, and unlikely to change in the near future. However, there are sources that do report our modern heroes, such as the Army Times and the Dept. of Defense website.

Marine Gen. Pace awarded the Distinguished Service Cross to Army Pvt. Stephen C. Sanford of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, for displaying extraordinary courage during the evacuation of casualties from a home in Mosul while under intense enemy fire, according to Army officials. Although shot in the leg during his squad’s initial assault attempt, he still accompanied his squad during its second assault. Once inside the house, Sanford provided a heavy volume of suppressive fire while the casualties were evacuated. He continued to engage the enemy while escorting wounded soldiers from the house, according to the award citation. Sanford returned to the house a second time to provide covering fire for the final withdrawal of casualties. When the last soldier leaving the house was shot in the neck, Sanford began performing CPR. Sanford was shot twice more in the back while trying to revive the other soldier. He returned fire and killed an insurgent while receiving two more potentially fatal gunshot wounds, the citation stated. He continued returning fire while helping his wounded comrade until he was incapacitated by his own loss of blood.

I've never heard of him. And that's a shame, because his actions are an example of a soldier at his finest. He was medically retired. To earn that discharge, your injuries are bad enough that you will have to work around the damage every day, the rest of your life. I hope there's a daily block of instruction during Basic Training on these events to instill the idea of what one Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Airman is capable of. These individuals are an inspiration to me; I wish they had more of an opportunity to do the same for the rest of the public.

No comments: