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May 03, 2008

Heroes

If you have a few minutes on this cold and gray Saturday (at least in the northeast) here are three American heroes you might want to read a little about.

Sgt. Merlin German (USMC)

To the doctors, staff and patients, he was a walking beacon of hope, having survived burns to 97 percent of his body from a roadside blast in Iraq.

Though he died unexpectedly after a surgery last week, the indomitable spirit of Sgt. Merlin German lives on at Brooke Army Medical Center, friends and family members said during a touching tribute to the Marine called the "Miracle Man."

..."Love is the only word strong and powerful enough to describe how we all felt about Merlin," said Brig. Gen. James K. Gilman, BAMC commander.

Gilman said he'll miss seeing German and gently bumping his fist against the nubs of what had once been German's fingers, after asking him, "Hey man, how ya doing?" But he said German left behind words for BAMC's staff and patients to live by when times get rough.


Master Sgt. Brendan O’Connor (USA)

Master Sgt. Brendan O’Connor on Wednesday received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army’s second-highest valor award, for his actions during a 17-hour battle in Afghanistan.

…He maneuvered his force through Taliban positions and crawled alone through enemy machine-gun fire to reach two wounded soldiers, the citation said. He tied a signal cloth to his back to identify himself to aircraft overhead. While under fire, he provided medical care and carried a wounded soldier more than 150 yards across open ground. He climbed over a wall three times under enemy fire to help wounded soldiers seek cover. Then he took over as the operations sergeant and rallied, motivated and led his team.

“Thank God for men like Master Sgt. O’Connor,” said Lt. Gen. Robert Wagner, commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg.


Pfc. Monica Brown (USA)

Pfc. Monica Brown cracked open the door of her Humvee outside a remote village in eastern Afghanistan to the soft pop of bullets shot by Taliban fighters. But instead of taking cover, the 18-year-old medic grabbed her bag and ran through gunfire toward fellow soldiers in a crippled and burning vehicle.

Vice President Cheney pinned (PFC Monica) Brown, of Lake Jackson, Tex., with a Silver Star in March for repeatedly risking her life on April 25, 2007, to shield and treat her wounded comrades, displaying bravery and grit. She is the second woman since World War II to receive the nation’s third-highest combat medal.

May a grateful nation be worthy of such men and women.


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posted by DrewM. at 12:09 PM

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