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Old 10-01-2018, 01:21 PM   #196
Gravdigr
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Ronald J. Shurer,

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is Awesome People™.

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

Quote:
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.
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:40 PM   #197
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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.
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:35 PM   #198
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Maybe he's gay and his command had it in for him.
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:46 PM   #199
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You can see it in his eyes if you look closely.

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Old 10-02-2018, 09:01 PM   #200
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Who, Mike Pence? I totally agree.
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:07 PM   #201
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I'm glad you think Mike Pence is awesome people.
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:15 PM   #202
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Sgt. Rafael Peralta is was an Awesome People™.

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

Quote:
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)
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