There is a vast difference between standing alone and standing together. In a fight, there is simply no substitute for knowing that your back is covered by someone you know, someone you trust.
So it was about a year ago in Fallujah, when a squad from 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division was ambushed during a night patrol. As different members of the team were pinned down or injured, each was quickly joined by fellow squad members, covering their retreat, pulling them to safety. To do so, of course, required entering the kill zone. But undaunted, the drive to protect their mates superseded concern for their own safety, and in they went. As more explosions ripped the night and small arms fire rained around them, the soldiers stayed focused on evacuating the wounded and eliminating the danger. Some sustained injuries themselves in the process.
In the end, the squad got out – not without casualties, but certainly with less than could have been. For their actions, four of the soldiers were decorated. And in what has become a typical response by modern day heroes, Staff Sgt. Jeremy Wilzcek, said, “I feel honored to be recognized, but there are a lot of people in Iraq doing the same thing.”
These men are our heroes of the week.