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Posted on May 17, 2008 | Filed Under In My Opinion... 

Today being Armed Forces Day, it’s appropriate, I think, to add another “Hero” to my list. This time - it’s a female soldier. Story via Patriot Post (linked).

Profiles of valor: USA Spc. Brown

It’s not often that a female serving in the Armed Forces is in a position to display combat valor, but such was the case for Spc. Monica Brown in Afghanistan in April 2007.

Brown joined the Army at age 17, and at 18 was serving temporarily as a medic with the 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment in Afghanistan. Female medics are a crucial part of missions there because male medics are often prevented from treating women and girls.

Brown was on a mission with her unit to track down a bomb-making cell near the Pakistani border when the last vehicle in the convoy struck a roadside bomb. Insurgents began firing at the convoy from a nearby position. Brown and her platoon sergeant ran to the burning truck—all five soldiers inside were wounded. As she began treating the wounded while under fire, the flames began to detonate ammunition in the disabled truck, pinning them between the enemy and the explosions. At several points, Brown lay across wounded men to shield them. She stayed focused on continued treatment.

“I wasn’t really focusing on everything that was going on around us,” she said. “I might have been afraid if I had.”

The situation did not improve for more than half an hour, and twice the wounded had to be moved out of the line of fire. Finally, however, the wounded were evacuated by helicopter, but not before Brown had exhausted her supplies.

Even though the Pentagon’s official policy is to not allow women to have permanent combat assignments, a temporary role such as the one Brown filled is allowed. And there was no doubt that she had earned a medal that April day.

Indeed, Vice President Cheney pinned her with the nation’s third-highest medal for heroism, the Silver Star. Brown is only the second woman since World War II to receive that award.


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