Monday, May 25, 2009

Land Of The Free, Home Of The Brave

Today we observe Memorial Day. The following is quoted from the Medal of Honor citation of Randy Shugart, who made the ultimate sacrifice as a member of Delta Force, protecting his fellow soldiers in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993, in a battle widely known as Black Hawk Down.

"Sergeant First Class Shughart, United States Army, distinguished himself by actions above and beyond the call of duty on 3 October 1993, while serving as a Sniper Team Member, United States Army Special Operations Command with Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu, Somalia. Sergeant First Class Shughart provided precision sniper fires from the lead helicopter during an assault on a building and at two helicopter crash sites, while subjected to intense automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenade fires. While providing critical suppressive fires at the second crash site, Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader learned that ground forces were not immediately available to secure the site. Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader unhesitatingly volunteered to be inserted to protect the four critically wounded personnel, despite being well aware of the growing number of enemy personnel closing in on the site. After their third request to be inserted, Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader received permission to perform this volunteer mission. When debris and enemy ground fires at the site caused them to abort the first attempt, Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader were inserted one hundred meters south of the crash site. Equipped with only his sniper rifle and a pistol, Sergeant First Class Shughart and his team leader, while under intense small arms fire from the enemy, fought their way through a dense maze of shanties and shacks to reach the critically injured crew members. Sergeant First Class Shughart pulled the pilot and the other crew members from the aircraft, establishing a perimeter which placed him and his fellow sniper in the most vulnerable position. Sergeant First Class Shughart used his long range rifle and side arm to kill an undetermined number of attackers while traveling the perimeter, protecting the downed crew. Sergeant First Class Shughart continued his protective fire until he depleted his ammunition and was fatally wounded. His actions saved the pilot's life. Sergeant First Class Shughart's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest standards of military service and reflect great credit upon him, his unit and the United States Army."

The picture shows Sgt. Shugart on the left, with his team leader, Master Sergeant Gary Gordon, on the right. The men fought side by side to save the pilot of the helicopter and both received the Medal of Honor posthumously. They were the first recipients since the Vietnam War.


Anonymous said...

We are not worthy. Rest in peace, Sergeant Shugart. A grateful nation mourns you and your fellow comrades-in-arms.

Anonymous said...

Thank God for men like him.

Sweet Repose said...

Why can't we all just get along...greed and power has such horrible consequences for Mothers and Fathers' all 'round the globe, as we lose our children in such childish war games!

We remember their sacrifices and mourn for their loss!