cib.gif82ndairbornedivision.pngFive 82nd Airborne Troopers Awarded Silver Star

Silver_Star_medal.jpgA large contingent of paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division just returned from 15 months in Iraq; my son among them.  At a welcome-home ball, five troopers were awarded the Silver Star for valor in combat.Please go read the whole story but here is the top line for each.

• Spc. Andrew Harriman, a platoon medic with C Troop, ran across 100 feet through machine gun fire to save the life of a private first class who was bleeding from two severed femoral arteries.• Spc. Jeremiah Church, a reconnaissance platoon machine gunner, was manning the .50-caliber machine gun in the turret of a Humvee during a mounted reconnaissance mission north of Baqubah on Aug. 8 when the patrol came under fire from a large-caliber machine gun and several insurgents in dug-in positions.• Sgt. Justin Young, a squad leader with C Troop, led the initial breach March 24 into a compound in Qubbah in Diyala province where known enemy fighters were entrenched.• 1st Sgt. John Croomer of C Troop killed several enemy fighters and risked his life in exposed terrain under intense gunfire to provide cover for his fatally wounded executive officer and one Iraqi soldier during a trench- and canal-clearing operation on Nov. 16, 2006, in Turki Village during Operation Turki Bowl.

• Capt. Stephen Dobbins, commander of B Troop, was wounded in the blast of an anti-tank mine Nov. 15, 2006, and, refusing medical evacuation, helped remove other wounded from the destroyed vehicle during a four-day operation near Balad Ruz during Operation Turki Bowl.

The Silver Star is the third highest award for valor in the US military.  It was authorized by the Secretary of War in 1932 and was enacted by Congress in 1942.  The Stolen Valor Act of 2005 makes it a felony offense to falsely claim to have earned a Silver Star.  It is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $10,000 fine.