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‘Black Hawk Down’ Rangers receive Silver Stars 28 years after Mogadishu heroics

daftandbarmy

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Better late than never...



During 23 years in the Army — much of it in the elite ranks of the 75th Ranger Regiment — Jeff Struecker saw combat in Panama, Iraq and Afghanistan, but nothing compared to the infamous October 1993 gunfight through the streets of Mogadishu.

“I’d been to combat a couple of times before Somalia and a lot of times after, but I’ve never seen heroism, I’ve never seen fighting, like we saw among these guys on the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia,” said Struecker, one of 18 veterans who fought in the battle officially known as Operation Gothic Serpent and awarded the Silver Star for valor Friday. “Nothing came close to Somalia. I mean not even close.”

The Silver Stars presented in a ceremony at Fort Benning, Ga., for those who were serving 28 years ago in the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment were upgrades of Bronze Star medals with combat “V” for valor that the Rangers were presented months after returning from Somalia. The Battle of Mogadishu, in which 18 American soldiers were killed, was later made famous by the best-selling book “Black Hawk Down” and the Hollywood movie of the same name.

For Struecker, the honor was “bittersweet” and unexpected. He said others who fought in that battle were more deserving of the Silver Star, the nation’s third highest honor for battlefield heroics. He said he was particularly proud to see some of the other troops from that fight honored.

“It’s truly an honor,” said Sean Watson, who was a sergeant first class at the time and would go on to retire as a command sergeant major in 2015. “I believe that being an awardee is actually a representation of everybody in the position I was in. They earned it — they’re the ones who really earned this.”

The Army announced in July, 60 veterans of the battle — mostly Army special operators, many of whom have not been named publicly — would receive award upgrades for their actions in the fight. That includes 58 Silver Stars and two Distinguished Flying Crosses. Award ceremonies are planned for other units in the future, Army officials said Friday.


 

medicineman

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Whew, for a minute there I was worried that you were going to ask 'why so many?' ;)
Personally, I think pretty much anyone directly involved in (getting shot at/shooting back) that action deserved something other than a casual mention in a couple books or blended characterization in a movie. I get what you mean though...
 
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