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Dan
04-18-2008, 08:52
http://www.fayobserver.com/article?id=291716

3 soldiers receive Silver Star
By Henry Cuningham
Military editor


Three soldiers from Fort Bragg’s 7th Special Forces Group on Thursday received the Silver Star for their actions in Afghanistan.

The Army’s third-highest award for valor was pinned on Master Sgt. Robert Sanderlin, 31; and Sgts. 1st Class Abram Hernandez, 32, and Eric Horton, 39.

“I don’t think it’s an individual award,” Sanderlin said after a ceremony at Tucker Physical Fitness Center. “I think it’s basically a culmination of all the activities the teams did while they were in Afghanistan.”

Lt. Gen. Robert Wagner, commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Command, said Sanderlin’s actions probably could have qualified him for a higher award.

According to an Army narrative of the events, Sanderlin was knocked unconscious by shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade when his unit was ambushed April 8, 2007, in the Upper Sangin Valley in Helmand province. He recovered and moved under heavy enemy fire to help a wounded team member who was in danger during an eight-hour battle. He moved on foot — under fire and through difficult terrain — the length of three football fields to set up a helicopter landing zone to evacuate the wounded soldier. After the helicopter left, Sanderlin continued to shoot at the enemy from the rear vehicle of a convoy. His vehicle was hit 11 times by enemy fire. Then he helped direct an Air Force special operations AC-130 gunship overhead that killed 195 enemy fighters.

“Actually, I really wasn’t afraid,” Sanderlin said. “I think it’s a testament to the training that the unit receives. Everything you do in combat is an instinctual act.”

Sanderlin, a detachment team sergeant in the 1st Battalion, also received the Purple Heart for being wounded in combat.

“I’m fine now,” he said.

Horton received the award for his actions July 2, 2006, during a four-hour battle against 100 Taliban fighters in Helmand province. He is credited with 35 confirmed kills using a .50-caliber sniper rifle.

Enemy machine-gun fire hit Horton in the left shoulder, knocking him back 10 feet and causing extensive injuries to his upper back.

“Fellow team members came to his aid, but Sgt. 1st Class Horton refused treatment and limped to an unmanned M-240B machine gun and began destroying enemy targets with his one good arm,” the narrative said. He kept firing as team members packed his bleeding wound. Only when ordered did he leave his position.

“I’m surprised,” Horton said after the ceremony. “It has been a long time coming. I’ve been waiting almost two years to get it. I’m thrilled and happy. This does not do justice to the guys who paid the ultimate price.”

Horton, an intelligence sergeant in the 3rd Battalion, also received the Purple Heart.

Hernandez came under heavy enemy fire from a larger force June 24, 2006, at a compound in Kandahar province.

“To engage the enemy, Sgt. Hernandez had to expose his upper body above the top of the wall, causing the Taliban to concentrate their fires on Sgt. Hernandez,” the narrative said.

He maneuvered the length of two football fields under fire.

“He bounded from one covered position to the next before sprinting the last portion through a hail of machine-gun fire to reach his wounded comrade,” the narrative said. He helped motivate Afghan soldiers to repel the attack.

Hernandez was an engineer sergeant in the 2nd Battalion. He has left the Army and returned to Fort Bragg from south Texas to attend the ceremony.

“It feels good, coming back to see the guys,” he said. “This award reflects pretty much the whole team, not just myself.”

Soldiers of the 7th Group also received 22 Bronze Stars for valor and 21 Purple Hearts for being wounded in combat.

Wagner said it would be appropriate to hold a separate ceremony for each soldier who received a Bronze Star for valor.

“To talk to each of these soldiers, you would find them to be loving fathers, husbands and sons,” said Col. Sean Mulholland, the group commander. “What lies beneath the surface are the true warriors with courageous character within each of them.”

Military editor Henry Cuningham can be reached at cuninghamh@fayobserver.com or 486-3585.

SF_BHT
04-18-2008, 10:25
Congratulations and Thank you for your service....

Team Sergeant
04-18-2008, 10:28
Great job Warriors!

TS

"Horton received the award for his actions July 2, 2006, during a four-hour battle against 100 Taliban fighters in Helmand province. He is credited with 35 confirmed kills using a .50-caliber sniper rifle."


My new hero......:D

The Reaper
04-18-2008, 10:37
Well done, hermanos!

I saw yesterday that the AF gave a BS to a female LTC for running stress clinics in theater.:rolleyes: Glad to see that some people still earn awards the old fashioned way-through personal valor.

TR

CoLawman
04-18-2008, 10:58
Very Well Done!

Retired W4
04-18-2008, 11:02
Amen to personal valor.

vsvo
04-18-2008, 11:56
Great job gents!

echoes
04-18-2008, 12:26
Outstanding job! Thank You for Your bravery, courage, and sacrifice.

SF Men truly are "Special!"

Holly

Roguish Lawyer
04-18-2008, 13:45
Wow

Razor
04-18-2008, 15:25
Sanderlin, a detachment team sergeant in the 1st Battalion, also received the Purple Heart for being wounded in combat.

“I’m fine now,” he said.

Classic!

Dan
04-18-2008, 17:20
RELEASE NUMBER: 080418-03
DATE POSTED: APRIL 18, 2008

Combat hardened 7th SFG(A) Soldiers honored with awards for valor

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, Apr. 18, 2008) – Soldiers of the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) were honored in an awards ceremony at Tucker Physical Fitness Center, here, April 17 for valorous actions during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lt. Gen. Robert Wagner, commanding general of U.S. Army Special Operations Command, presented three Silver Stars, 22 Bronze Stars for Valor and 21 Purple Hearts at a formation viewed by fellow Soldiers, Family Members and friends.

“It is always a great honor and privilege to acknowledge and pay tribute to our Special Forces heroes,” said Wagner. “Each Soldier in front of us, and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, have distinguished themselves as true heroes, well known throughout the Special Forces and special operations community.”

In Afghanistan, 1st and 2nd Battalion, 7th SFG (A) Soldiers were integrated into Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan to conduct operations during Operation Enduring Freedom. CJSOTF-A accumulated an extensive list of accomplishments from 2007, including training the new Afghan Commando units, conducting thousands of combat missions, bringing medical aid to countless civilians, and neutralizing more than 3,000 enemy fighters.

The actions of three Soldiers were deemed significant to the effort by their leadership and resulted in Silver Stars for Master Sgt. Robert Sanderlin, Sgt. 1st Class Abram Hernandez, and Sgt. 1st Class Eric Horton.

While in Afghanistan during 2007, Sanderlin and his team were ambushed during a foot patrol. During the initial moments of the attack Sanderlin was knocked unconscious by shrapnel from an rocket propelled grenade. After recovering, he ran under intense fire to retrieve an anti-tank weapon and engaged three enemy machine gun positions with the weapon, all the while drawing heavy volumes of fire to his position. Sanderlin, an intelligence sergeant, also assisted in the medical treatment and evacuation of a wounded comrade, then, still under heavy fire, used a door-mounted machine gun to cover the team's extraction from the ambush zone.

A year prior, also in Afghanistan, Horton and his team also faced a large enemy attack. During a mounted mission in the Helmund Province of southern Afghanistan, Horton was manning an overwatch position with a heavy sniper rifle when he was warned of a large enemy element attack on his team. He immediately began to fire on the attackers, who under the barrage of sniper fire, were forced to turn their attention to Horton's position. Though hundreds of rounds impacted around his position, Horton moved through fire to a better vantage point and continued to eliminate Taliban attackers. A second wave of attackers moved to attempt to overrun the main element's positions, and Horton continued firing, killing 15 enemies with 30 rounds. Horton was hit by a machine gun round in the shoulder which knocked him back 10 feet, but he refused aid and moved to a mounted machine gun to continue firing.

Horton is credited with killing 35 insurgents with accurate sniper fire that night.

During the same deployment, Hernandez’s team along with a group of Afghan National Army troops braved a heavy enemy assault during a cordon and search operation. Attacked from all directions, Hernandez and his team held off constant Taliban attacks under endless machine gun, small arms, and mortar fire during the harrowing multi-day engagement in which two U.S. Soldiers were killed. During the engagement, Hernandez often put himself in danger to draw fire from his comrades, or while moving to assist team members in need. His actions are credited with saving the lives of his teammates by preventing their position from being overrun.

“Robert M. Gates said that the U.S. Army of today is a battle-hardened force whose volunteer Soldiers have performed with courage, resourcefulness, and resilience in the most grueling conditions,” quoted Col. Sean Mulholland, commander of 7th Special Forces Group. “In Special Forces, this is the norm rather than the exception. We expect our Soldiers to live in the worst of conditions and make something out of nothing. This has always been what we do best.”

To the man, the awardees agreed that their actions were not especially heroic, but were simply required for dealing with the situations they faced.

“It’s a great honor, but it’s more of a testament to the team and its resolve under stress,” said Sanderlin. “We faced enemies on almost a daily basis, and the team members pulled each other through the situations we faced.”

“Everybody that got an award today certainly deserved it, but everybody here was just doing their job,” said Horton. “Our Soldiers hold each other and themselves to a very high standard, and it shows in the work that we do.”

List of Awardees:

Silver Star
Master Sgt. Robert Sanderlin (with Purple Heart)
Sgt. 1st Class Abram Hernandez (with Purple Heart)
Sgt. 1st Class Eric Horton

Bronze Star with “V” Device
Staff Sgt. Elisha Bremmer
Staff Sgt. Ian Brown
Sgt. 1st Class Cecil Carter
Staff Sgt. Keith Daboll
Sgt. 1st Class Valentino Dezaldivar
Capt. Patrick Flood
Staff Sgt. Brendan Fogarty
Sgt. 1st Class Heath Grossman (With Purple Heart)
Capt. Patrick Mather
Sgt. 1st Class Charles Maxwell
Capt. Patrick Nelson
Staff Sgt. Carlos Ordonez (With Purple Heart)
Sgt. 1st Class Michael Pfiester
Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Wilkerson
CW2 Christopher Wurst
Sgt. 1st Class Brock Buddles
Staff Sgt. Brian Smearman
Staff Sgt. Luis Morales
Staff Sgt. Ramon Pereyra
Staff Sgt. John Brumit
Staff Sgt. William Marshall

Purple Heart
Staff Sgt. Cody Sheldon
Staff Sgt. Casey Curd
Sgt. David Finn
CW3 Jean Guidry
Staff Sgt. Victor Hollifield
Capt. Kevin Key
Sgt. Michael Montenaro (x2 PH)
Staff Sgt. Mario Pinilla
Sgt. 1st Class Karl Reamer
Sgt. 1st Class Victor Rodgers
Sgt. 1st Class Scott Skala
Staff Sgt. Lamont Williams
Sgt. 1st Class Jarrid Collins
Sgt. Dekovin Dombkowski
Staff Sgt. Scott Guy



--usasoc--

Dan
04-18-2008, 17:21
Sgt. 1st Class Robert Sanderlin, a 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) intelligence sergeant, is awarded a Silver Star by Lt. Gen. Robert Wagner, commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., April 17. Sanderlin and his fellow Special Forces team members were engaged in heavy fighting in Afghanistan in 2007 in which he earned this medal. (Photo by Sgt. Daniel Love, USASOC News Service)

Dan
04-18-2008, 17:22
Sgt. 1st Class Eric Horton, previously a 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) intelligence sergeant, is awarded a Silver Star by Lt. Gen. Robert Wagner, commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., April 17. Horton and his fellow Special Forces team members were engaged in heavy fighting in Afghanistan in 2006 in which he earned this medal. (Photo by Sgt. Daniel Love, USASOC News Service)

Dan
04-18-2008, 17:22
Sgt. 1st Class Abram Hernandez, previously a 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) engineer sergeant, is awarded a Silver Star by Lt. Gen. Robert Wagner, commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., April 17. Hernandez and his fellow Special Forces team members were engaged in heavy fighting in Afghanistan in 2006 in which he earned this medal. (Photo by Sgt. Daniel Love, USASOC News Service)

Dan
04-18-2008, 17:23
Sgt. 1st Class Heath Grossman, a 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) communications sergeant, is awarded a Bronze Star for Valor by Lt. Gen. Robert Wagner, commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., April 17. (Photo by Sgt. Daniel Love, USASOC News Service)

Dan
04-18-2008, 17:24
Capt. Patrick Flood, previously a 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) team leader, is awarded a Bronze Star for Valor by Lt. Gen. Robert Wagner, commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., April 17. (Photo by Sgt. Daniel Love, USASOC News Service)

Dan
04-18-2008, 17:24
Staff Sgt. Scott Guy, a 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Soldier, is awarded a Purple Heart by Lt. Gen. Robert Wagner, commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., April 17. (Photo by Sgt. Daniel Love, USASOC News Service)

Jack Moroney (RIP)
04-18-2008, 18:25
Outstanding.

SF_BHT
04-18-2008, 19:23
Job Well done, keep up the faith.

Gypsy
04-18-2008, 19:56
Well done Warriors...thank you.