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Gravdigr 10-01-2018 01:21 PM

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Ronald J. Shurer,

Attachment 65133

is Awesome People™.

Received the Silver Star in 2008, upgraded to Medal of Honor in 2016.


Silver Star citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Staff Sergeant Ronald J. Shurer, United States Army, for exceptionally valorous conduct in the face of the enemy of the United States as Medical Sergeant, Operational Detachment Alpha 3336 (ODA-3336), 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), Special Operations Task Force – 33, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM on 6 April 2008. Sergeant Shurer heroically and with complete disregard for his own safety fought his way up a mountain in order to render aid and evacuate casualties from his ODA and Afghan Commandos. Sergeant Shurer was initially pinned at the base of a wadi by accurate Insurgent sniper, Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG), small arms, and machine gun fire when he received communications that the forward assault element could not move due to a high volume of Insurgent fire and sustained multiple casualties. With disregard for his own safety, Sergeant Shurer took off through a hail of bullets and began scaling the rock face to get to the casualties. During initial movement to the base of the mountain he treated a teammate wounded by shrapnel to his neck from an RPG blast that blew him off his feet. Once his teammate received aid, he then fought several hundred meters under fire, for over an hour, killing multiple Insurgents, as he made his way to the besieged location. Under intense Insurgent fire, Sergeant Shurer reached the pinned down element of his ODA and immediately rendered aid to four critically wounded US and ten injured Commandos. He treated multiple life threatening gunshot wounds until additional teammates arrived. Sergeant Shurer courageously exposed himself by running 15 meters through heavy Insurgent fire to render aid to his seriously wounded Team Sergeant. Despite being hit in the helmet and wounded in the arm by Insurgent sniper fire, he immediately pulled his Team Sergeant to a covered position, and rendered aid as Insurgent rounds impacted inches from their location. Without hesitation, he moved back through heavy Insurgent fire to treat another teammate that suffered a traumatic amputation of his right leg from Insurgent sniper fire. Sergeant Shurer rendered life saving aid to four critically wounded casualties for more than five and a half hours. As the lone medic at the besieged location, and almost overrun and fighting against nearly 200 Insurgent fighters, Sergeant Shurer's bravery and poise under fire saved the lives of all wounded casualties under his care. He evacuated three critically wounded, non-ambulatory, teammates down a near vertical 60-foot cliff, despite being under heavy Insurgent fire, and falling debris from numerous danger-close air strikes. Sergeant Shurer ingeniously used a six foot length of nylon webbing to lower casualties, and physically shielded them from falling debris to ensure their safety. His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself, Special Operations Task Force – 33, the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan, Special Operations Command Central, and the United States Army.
He received/receives his MoH today.

sexobon 10-02-2018 06:40 PM

This one raises some questions. Not about SSG Shurer, he undeniably demonstrated valor worthy of the MoH. Rather, about the Command that put him in for only a Silver Star.

Was that Special Forces A-Team devastated due to circumstances beyond anyone's control; or, did the Command drop the ball in the planning and preparation of the mission? Perhaps they didn't want a high profile award coming out of it that would draw attention.

According to Wikipedia, SSG Shurer joined the Army in 2002. The cited engagement took place in 2008. SSG Shurer would have been on his first reenlistment and considered a career soldier. He left the Army the next year; however, in 2009. I wonder if he lost confidence in the Command.

It's equally possible that he just got tired of combat and associated risks. In that case, it's a shame the MoH wasn't awarded initially as living MoH recipients are considered to have done the equivalent of giving their life for their country since there was no reasonable expectation they would miraculously survive (it's also awarded posthumously) and the military won't send them back into combat.

I noticed that he was going on 7 years time in service (TIS). At 7 years TIS I was a rank above his. I wonder if the Command was making sure that people like him were getting promoted as soon as eligible; or, if they were dropping the ball on that.

The end of the award citation had a glaring omission. Where it says: "His actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism and reflect distinct credit upon himself … etc." It doesn't mention the unit he was assigned to, the 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne) as at the beginning of the citation. Even if the citation is getting too lengthy, it generally says: "and reflect distinct credit upon himself, his unit, … etc." A snub of his Command?

At least it looks like he has a good job now, outside the military, where his military acquired skills will be an asset. Good on him.

Clodfobble 10-02-2018 08:35 PM

Maybe he's gay and his command had it in for him.

sexobon 10-02-2018 08:46 PM

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You can see it in his eyes if you look closely.

Attachment 65144

Clodfobble 10-02-2018 09:01 PM

Who, Mike Pence? I totally agree.

sexobon 10-02-2018 09:07 PM

I'm glad you think Mike Pence is awesome people.

Gravdigr 10-19-2018 12:15 PM

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Sgt. Rafael Peralta is was an Awesome People™.

Attachment 65244

Born in Mexico City, he enlisted in the USMC the day he got his Green Card.


During a combat tour supporting Operation Al Fajr in the city of Fallujah, Iraq, he was shot and mortally wounded. As his squad fired at the insurgents around him, an enemy grenade was thrown into their midst; it came to rest near Peralta’s head.

From his Navy Cross citation:

“Without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, Sgt. Peralta reached out and pulled the grenade to his body, absorbing the brunt of the blast and shielding fellow Marines only feet away. Sgt. Peralta succumbed to his wounds. By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Sgt. Peralta reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.”
He was awarded the Navy Cross, the Purple Heart, and the Combat Action Ribbon.

Oh, and his actions are also commemorated by the commissioning of the USS Rafael Peralta, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer.

Link (hour+ long vid of the commissioning of the ship at the link)

Gravdigr 11-21-2018 01:02 PM

Somewhere in or around Derby, Vermont there is a fairly Awesome People™ walking around.

He went to the lay-away dept at the local Wallyworld and paid off all the laid-away items. Woman in line behind him was told "Why don’t you run and get what you want now and come back here?" She did. He paid for that, too.

All anonymously.



xoxoxoBruce 11-21-2018 08:50 PM

I love doing shit like that, but never been in a position to do it on that scale.
There's another guy, don't remember where, who walks around with a cop and like $10,000 in hundreds giving Christmas shoppers money.
Usually women with kids and varying amounts depending on their story.

Here it is, it's $100,000.

monster 11-28-2018 06:13 PM

This Builder seems like a pretty awesome people.

Roy Allen did the work on a terminally ill disabled woman's house to help make it liveable and accessible after she was duped out of the money she had for the job by an asshole

Gravdigr 11-29-2018 03:19 PM

That was cool of him/them.

Gravdigr 12-20-2018 01:33 PM

Jerry seems to be a fairly Awesome People™.


sexobon 12-22-2018 11:10 PM

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An unnamed elementary school girl in Washington state and her teacher Rachel Uretsky-Pratt:

Child with 'nothing to give' sacrifices Lucky Charms marshmallows for teacher


To help put your life into perspective:

Today was the last day before our winter break. We will have two weeks off to rest with our families and loved ones over the holidays then head back to school in 2019.

With it being the day before break and Christmas right around the corner, most teachers bring their kiddos something such as books or little treats and occasionally in return receive something from their students.

Today I received some chocolates, sweet handmade notes, some jewelry, but these Lucky Charm marshmallows stood out to me the most.

You see, 100% of my school is on free/reduced lunch. They also get free breakfast at school every day of the school week. This kiddo wanted to get me something so badly, but had nothing to give.

So rather than give me nothing, this student opened up her free breakfast cereal this morning, took the packaging of her spork, straw, and napkin, and finally took the time to take every marshmallow out of her cereal to put in a bag—for me.

Be grateful for what you have, and what others give you. It all truly comes from the deepest parts of their hearts.

Happy Holidays. ��

Uretsky-Pratt said that when the children presented their gifts, she accepted the bag of marshmallows much like all the other ones – "thank you so much, sweetie.”

But the child's simple sacrifice wasn't lost on her: “No one likes Lucky Charms without the marshmallows," Uretsky-Pratt mused.

Gravdigr 12-23-2018 12:25 PM

I read that story. Coolness.

Gravdigr 01-14-2019 10:45 AM

The moral of this story is "Don't fuck with John when he's napping."


McKinney, John R.
Rank and organization: Sergeant (then Private), U.S. Army, Company A, 123d Infantry, 33d Infantry Division
Place and date: Tayabas Province, Luzon, Philippine Islands, May 11, 1945
Entered service at:Woodcliff, Georgia

He fought with extreme gallantry to defend the outpost which had been established near Dingalan Bay. Just before daybreak approximately 100 Japanese stealthily attacked the perimeter defense, concentrating on a light machinegun position having completed a long tour of duty at this gun, Pvt. McKinney was resting a few paces away when an enemy soldier dealt him a glancing blow on the head with a saber. Although dazed by the stroke, he seized his rifle, bludgeoned his attacker, and then shot another assailant who was charging him. Meanwhile, one of his comrades at the machinegun had been wounded and his other companion withdrew carrying the injured man to safety. Alone, Pvt. McKinney was confronted by ten infantrymen who had captured the machinegun with the evident intent of reversing it to fire into the perimeter. Leaping into the emplacement, he shot seven of them at pointblank range and killed three more with his rifle butt. In the melee the machinegun was rendered inoperative, leaving him only his rifle with which to meet the advancing Japanese, who hurled grenades and directed knee mortar shells into the perimeter. He warily changed position, secured more ammunition, and reloading repeatedly, cut down waves of the fanatical enemy with devastating fire or clubbed them to death in hand-to-hand combat. When assistance arrived, he had thwarted the assault and was in complete control of the area. Thirty-eight dead Japanese around the machinegun and two more at the side of a mortar 45 yards distant was the amazing toll he had exacted single-handedly. By his indomitable spirit, extraordinary fighting ability, and unwavering courage in the face of tremendous odds, Pvt. McKinney saved his company from possible annihilation and set an example of unsurpassed intrepidity.
from Wiki:


US Army Pvt. John McKinney had stood guard duty and had just gone to his tent in the early hours May 11, 1945 on the island of Luzon, Philippines. The vanguard of a Japanese force slipped past the guard post. Sgt. Fukutaro Morii threw open McKinney's tent flap and slashed down with his sword, no doubt to minimize the sound of the as-yet undetected attack. He severed part of McKinney's ear. McKinney, a skilled hunter from Georgia, grabbed the rifle he slept with, bashed Morii in the chin and finished him off with another blow to the head.

Over the next 36 minutes, McKinney protected the flank of his company and his sleeping comrades by killing 38 of the enemy. McKinney did so through point-blank, kill-or-be-killed encounters as well as rapid-fire, accurate shots with various M1 rifles he picked up and fired at charging enemies. Early in the engagement, he returned to his foxhole where he eliminated first one wave and then part of the second wave of the main attack force. Several in the second wave made it to the foxhole where McKinney first shot and then clubbed his assailants in hand-to-hand combat.
Not keeping count? 40 enemy soldiers killed in 36 minutes.

That, friends and neighbors, is an Awesome People™.

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