Sunday, June 26, 2005

Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester and Raven 42 - The Whole Story

From the Washington Post comes this story about Leigh Ann Hester, and the rest of her squad from the battle where she and others earned commendations.
The squad, called Raven 42, presents a vivid portrait of the diverse American fighting force in
Iraq. The squad includes not only women, but also African American and Hispanic soldiers, and others who are nearly twice the age of their comrades.

The military awarded three Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars and two army commendation medals to the squad last week. Receiving the Silver Star, along with Hester and Nein, was a platoon medic, Spec. Jason Mike, a 5-foot-9, 250-pound former fullback at Jacksonville University in Florida.

In the middle of the battle, Mike, 22, fired two weapons in opposite directions after three of the four soldiers traveling in his Humvee were struck by bullets, he and other members of the squad recounted.

A Bronze Star was awarded to Spec. Ashley Pullen, a 5-foot-2 ½-inch Humvee driver from Edmonton, Ky.

Pullen, 21, smiles constantly, occasionally paints her toenails pink and tilts her head back to see over the dashboard of her vehicle. As bullets pelted her Humvee's armored skin that day, Pullen backed up the truck to provide cover for Sgt. Joseph Rivera, 39, who lay bleeding with a stomach wound. Pullen then helped treat Rivera while still under enemy fire.

Capt. Todd Lindner, who commands the 617th Military Police Company, which includes Raven 42, said Hester and Pullen "shouldn't be held up as showpieces for why there should be women in combat. They should be held up as examples of why it's irrelevant."
Read the article and be thankful we have people like this in our armed forces.

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