CPT Jennifer Moreno

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In her last moments of life, Army nurse Capt. Jennifer Moreno heard two orders.

One was a call to help a wounded soldier struck by a blast in a booby-trapped killing field at an Afghanistan bomb-making compound.

The other was a command to stay put lest she strike another mine in the bomb belt.

The nurse from Madigan Army Medical Center chose to help the wounded soldier, and gave her life trying.

In the words of her commander, Moreno ran “into hell” to rescue a comrade on the night she was killed. Newly released narratives of the Oct. 5 battle reveal the kind of hell Moreno and dozens of Army special operators found while trying to disrupt a plot to kill civilians in the city of Kandahar.

A total of 12 bombs exploded that night – a chain reaction that took the lives of four U.S. soldiers and wounded at least 25.

The fifth bomb killed Moreno, 25, of San Diego who volunteered for a dangerous assignment supporting special operators in combat.

The 11th bomb wounded three soldiers trying to recover her body.

Moreno is Madigan’s only fatal casualty from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though the hospital south of Tacoma has continuously deployed soldiers to medical facilities in combat zones.

Moreno “sacrificed her life so others could live,” her Bronze Star commendation reads.

We honor you, Jennifer Moreno.

(Submission by: Miah Parry. #Repost @The Washington Times)

SPC Blake W. R. Lee

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On July 24th 2006, a seemingly calm afternoon in the often Volatile Al Anbar Province, Ramadi, Iraq, my platoon who had been attached to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Armor Regiment was tasked with a mission to link back up with our parent company, Bravo company, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment to conduct a raid on a suspected improvised explosive device assembly location. Shortly after a happy reunion with our fellow soldiers of B Co 1-6 at their combat outpost, Warrior Strong Hold, we came under heavy rocket, mortar, and machine gun fire, unbeknownst to us as where multiple locations in a planned attack by Al Qeada forces throughout the area. An Iraqi Army Combat outpost bordering the west side of warrior strong hold came under machine gun fire first sending the Iraqi soldiers scrambling for cover in a fortified watch tower on the roof. The members of B CO 1-6 INF immediately took up defensive positions throughout the strong hold returning a heavy volume of fire in defense.

During the defense of the strong hold, while directing my saw gunners field of fire and returning fire, I was struck in the right knee by incoming enemy fire and was med-evacuated to camp Ramadi, where I was air lifted to Baghdad to receive an operation to clean the wound out.

The .30 caliber bullet had bounced around after striking causing multiple fractures, traveling up my right femur and finally coming to a rest just below my greater trochanter , where it remained until causing complications later in the year and was removed at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

We honor you, Blake Lee.

(#Repost @National Purple Heart Hall of Honor)

CPT James A. Taylor

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First Lt. James A. Taylor was serving in South Vietnam as Executive Officer of B Troop, First Cavalry, American Division on November 8, 1967 when he was notified that his commander had been wounded in action.

He was ordered into the combat zone to take command and make preparations for a search and destroy mission the following day.

Early on November 9, Taylor resumed his duties as Executive Officer in charge of evacuation of wounded personnel, calling in air and ground support, and arranging for supplies and ammunition for the pending attack. As the troops moved forward, they came under heavy attack from a North Vietnamese regiment. Taylor reacted immediately to aid the first crippled personnel carrier before it exploded from the intense fire. But that was just the beginning of the battle – and an extraordinary display of courage under fire.

On November 19, 1968, in a ceremony at the White House, James A. Taylor was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Johnson.

His official citation reads:

“CPT Taylor, Armor, was serving as executive officer of Troop B, 1st Squadron. His troop was engaged in an attack on a fortified position west of Que Son when it came under intense enemy recoilless rifle, mortar, and automatic weapons fire from an enemy strong point located immediately to its front. One armored cavalry assault vehicle was hit immediately by recoilless rifle fire and all five crewmembers were wounded. Aware that the stricken vehicle was in grave danger of exploding, CPT Taylor rushed forward and personally extracted the wounded to safety despite the hail of enemy fire and exploding ammunition. Within minutes a second armored cavalry assault vehicle was hit by multiple recoilless rifle rounds. Despite the continuing intense enemy fire, CPT Taylor moved forward on foot to rescue the wounded men from the burning vehicle and personally removed all the crewmen to the safety of a nearby dike. Moments later the vehicle exploded.

As he was returning to his vehicle, a bursting mortar round painfully wounded CPT Taylor, yet he valiantly returned to his vehicle to relocate the medical evacuation landing zone to an area closer to the front lines. As he was moving his vehicle, it came under machinegun fire from an enemy position not 50 yards away. CPT Taylor engaged the position with his machinegun, killing the three-man crew.

Upon arrival at the new evacuation site, still another vehicle was struck. Once again CPT Taylor rushed forward and pulled the wounded from the vehicle, loaded them aboard his vehicle, and returned them safely to the evacuation site. His actions of unsurpassed valor were a source of inspiration to his entire troop, contributed significantly to the success of the overall assault on the enemy position, and were directly responsible for saving the lives of a number of his fellow soldiers. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military profession and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.”

We honor you, James Taylor.

(#Repost @Pritzker Military Museum & Library)

COL Sam Floca

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Retired U.S. Army Colonel Sam Floca is a sixth-generation Texan, as proud of his Lone Star State heritage as he is of his two tours in Vietnam in the First Infantry Division. One of his most prized possessions is the Texas flag flown at the Capitol in honor of the wounds he received in action and sent to him during his recovery.

As an infantry soldier, Floca was part of the core fighting force during the Vietnam War, and as a soldier with the First Infantry Division, he was part of a famed unit also known as the Big Red One.

Floca joined the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1966 and served as an artillery forward observer with armored cavalry, airmobile infantry, and Long Range Recon Patrol (LRRP) units. Returning to Vietnam in 1968, he was the senior artillery officer with the 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division.

The First Infantry Division is the oldest division in the United States Army, and, consistent with its name and tradition, was the first Army division deployed to Vietnam. Within two weeks, its soldiers were engaged in battle, and during the next five years the Big Red One would see 6,146 of its soldiers killed and 16,019 wounded and 20 taken prisoner. As a veteran of the unit, Colonel Floca wears the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, five Purple Hearts, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm.

We honor you, Sam Floca.

(#Repost @http://tcvvm.org/project/sam-floca/)

LTC Charles “Chad” Buehring

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Lt. Col. Charles “Chad” Buehring was commissioned as an Infantry Officer from The Citadel in 1985. His first assignment was with the newly formed 2-22nd Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division as a platoon leader at Fort Benning, Ga., and later as a company executive officer at Fort Drum, N.Y.

Graduating from Special Forces Assessment and Selection in 1989 and the Special Forces Qualification Course in 1990, Buehring served as an operational-detachment-alpha commander in 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), leading multiple missions to Botswana. He was one of the first U.S. military personnel deployed in support of the United Nations operations to Somalia in 1992.

In June 1994, Buehring graduated the Functional Area 39 course at Fort Bragg, N.C. with a follow-on assignment as a team leader in the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne). While assigned to the 96th CA Battalion, Buehring supported the 15t Armored Division’s entry into the former Yugoslavia during Operation Noble Eagle.

From 1998 to 2001, Buehring served as detachment commander with Company A, 8th PSYOP Battalion, where he served at the detachment commander supporting Operation Desert Fox delivering more than two million leaflets into Iraq.

As the S3 of the 3rd Battalion (Dissemination), Buehring personally executed the delivery of print assets to South Korea and Guam, enabling a key component of PSYOP support to CONPLANs and OPLANs on the peninsula. He was also responsible for laying the foundation of what is now the Media Operations Center.

Finally, as the battalion operations officer, Buehring planned, resourced and executed global production, dissemination and distribution support to both active and reserve component PSYOP units.

In 2003, Buehring served as senior Psychological Operations planner for U.S. Army Central Command. In this capacity, Buehring represented the PSYOP Regiment by reporting directly to the commanding officer, Coalition Forces Land Component Command on all PSYOP supporting programs. These programs directly supported 5th Corps and 1st Marine Expeditionary Force combat operations in the opening days of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Upon the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime, Buehring was offered the opportunity to return to the United States with his unit; he volunteered to remain in Baghdad to establish a Military Information Support Team to support the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance.

During the early morning hours of Oct. 26, 2003, Iraqi insurgents launched a rocket attack targeting Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who was staying at the AI Rashid Hotel. As the first salvo of rockets impacted the AI Rashid, Buehring pushed a group of fellow Soldiers gathered in his room to safety in the hallway before returning to the window to engage the enemy. At that time a second salvo of rockets impacted the AI Rashid, mortally wounding Buehring. After his death, Camp Udaire in Kuwait was memorialized Camp Buehring, serving as the staging area for U.S. troops going into the Middle Eastern Theater Reserve.

We honor you, Charles “Chad” Buehring.

(#Repost @USASOC Fallen)

Donald Nathan “Don” Aldrich

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Born 24 October 1917 in Moline Illinois. His father taught him to fly before he was 12 years old. When he tried to enlist for pilot training in the American military before the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was rejected because he was married.

He joined the RCAF in February 1941, earning his Wings in November 1941. He served initially as an instructor in Canada but he transferred to the Marines after the US entered the war and the RCAF would let him go (date unclear). He was wounded in action twice.

Captain Donald Aldrich, Marine Pilot who shot down a Tojo, newest Jap fighter plane, over Rabaul, Feb. 9, to become the fifth Marine flyer to kill 20 enemy planes, was congratulated by his Commanding Officer, Major James J. Neefus, of Belle Harbor, N.J. after he was awarded the Purple Heart Medal at a South Pacific Base.

He was KiFA on 3 May 1947 while attempting a forced landing at Glenview Naval Air Station. His Corsair ran into soft dirt and he flipped over.

We honor you, Don Aldrich.

(#Repost @Aces of WWII)