Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester has been further honoured for her bravery and coolness under fire.
The United Service Organizations celebrated its 65th anniversary last night and honored troops from each branch of the military for heroism.
“We are thankful that we are defended by men and women of character and courage, and we are grateful to all the USO volunteers to work to entertain them,” President Bush said in a video message to the 65th annual USO gala here. “They lift their spirits and express the gratitude and support of the American people.” The five troops who received USO Servicemember of the Year awards at the gala represent the highest ideals of courage and patriotism, and have demonstrated extraordinary loyalty, bravery and heroism, Bush said.
I wrote about this back when it happened, but here are the details again:
Army Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester, of the Kentucky National Guard. Hester served as a team leader with the 617th Military Police Company at Camp Liberty, Iraq. On March 20, 2005, Hester was in one of three escort vehicles providing security for a convoy when the convoy was ambushed by insurgents. Despite being outnumbered five to one and coming under heavy fire, Hester led her soldiers on a counterattack, maneuvering her team into a flanking position and clearing trenches occupied by the insurgents. Hester is the first woman since World War II to receive the Silver Star for combat action.
The events of that day would make a great war movie for the 21st Century if someone with real military cred decided to do it right. No ambiguous messages needed, just the good guys and gals blowing hell out of the enemy.