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Old 24 May 2015, 12:40
smp52 smp52 is offline
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Alaska Air Guard pararescue jumper receives rare Silver Star medal

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Originally Posted by From the news article
Master Sgt. Roger D. Sparks received America’s third-highest award for conspicuous valor in combat for his actions during a battle in Afghanistan on Nov. 14, 2010. Sparks and fellow PJ Capt. Koaalii Bailey flew into the Watapur Valley expecting to extract two wounded soldiers when “they were engulfed in a firestorm,” said Air Guard Maj. Joe Conroy in remarks to the crowd assembled at JBER’s Arctic Warrior Events Center.

Bullets buzzed and rockets exploded around them as they descended 40 feet by cable from a hovering helicopter.

“I thought we had three seconds to live,” Sparks recalled.

On the ground, the PJs found the Army unit in a state of shock, surrounded, outnumbered and outgunned. Several men were dead and the number of wounded was much higher than they’d been told. The helicopter quickly spent its ammunition and left the area to rearm, leaving the medics behind.

Sparks and Bailey essentially took over command of the fight for “six intense hours,” Conroy said. They called in close strikes to push back the enemy while they scrambled to help the injured and organized the evacuation.

Sparks’ citation reads: “Despite continued enemy fire and with no concern for his personal safety, Sergeant Sparks immediately performed lifesaving measures for nine wounded soldiers. He feverishly triaged chest wounds, punctured lungs, shattered hips, fist-sized blast holes, eviscerated stomachs and arterial bleeders with limited medical supplies and only the light of the moon.”
Came across the link through Facebook; it's dated from July 2014 but didn't see it posted here.

Bravo Zulu, Master Sergeant Sparks.
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