Monday, August 29, 2011
The Soldiers Medal
Staff Sergeant Matt Blain heard the trouble call – an armored vehicle had tipped over in an Afghani raging river Heroism. Shedding gear as he ran, Matt saw one of the passengers had been ejected from the vehicle and was being carried away by the water. He dived in and pulled him to shore before diving again into the water in order to rescue the three men still trapped in the armored vehicle. He single-handedly pulled open a five hundred pound door according to one of the trapped men, Captain Jim Fallon, to facilitate the rescue. For his bravery, the army issued him a very rare ‘The Soldiers Medal’ for heroism outside of combat.
Sergeant Blaine is a veteran of Afghanistan with a ‘Purple Heart’ when a land mine he had stepped on but was too light in weight to set off blew up the Humvee behind him at the end of 2007. After shrugging off the blast, Blaine helped the other soldiers out of the damaged Humvee.
When told about the medal on the phone, Blain told them to mail it to him. He didn’t want to be singled out because he had not been the only one to rush toward the vehicle in the river. The army sent a Colonel instead with a contingent to pin it on him. I know a lot of folks wonder what kind of soldiers are fighting for our way of life in a hellhole like Afghanistan – soldiers like Staff Sergeant Matt Blain. Oh hell yeah!