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    Selfless service: I will take a bullet for you

    Selfless service: I will take a bullet for you

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Margaret Taylor | U.S. Army Sgt. Christopher Lee, of Los Angeles, a team leader with Company D, 3rd...... read more read more

    WARDAK PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Valor often shines forth in a single blazing moment, a moment when circumstances demand extraordinary strength of character. At other times, however, valor burns with a quiet, steady flame of commitment to excellence, hard work and unswerving service to others.

    To recognize such day-to-day selfless service, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. James C. McConville, commander of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Combined Joint Task Force-101 and Regional Command-East, presented ceremonial coins to 10 soldiers at Combat Outpost Sultan Kheyl, Wardak province, Afghanistan, Oct. 5.

    Each of the 10 was honored for embodying the Army values – loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage – and for continual commitment to excellence in daily duties throughout the deployment.

    After presenting the coins, McConville reminded the soldiers that, though the journey home is in sight, the enemy won’t quit and neither should they.

    “I need to get every one of you home at the end,” McConville said. “The [best] way for you to do that is to take care of each other.”

    Fortunately, the commitment the major general called for – that selfless service – is a way of life at Sultan Kheyl, both within the compound and outside the wire.

    “When we’re outside the wire, we fight for the man next to us,” said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Ketch, of Columbus, Ga., a platoon sergeant with Company D, 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. “If someone lags or starts falling behind [we] pick him up. No one here is going to let anyone down.”

    In early September, soldiers in Ketch’s platoon matched actions to words when the enemy attacked their convoy. A vehicle carrying improvised explosives drove into the midst of the convoy and detonated, disabling two U.S. vehicles and wounding several soldiers.

    Other members of the convoy immediately jumped into action to aid their injured teammates. One of the soldiers who aided his comrades was Sgt. Christopher Lee, a team leader in Ketch’s platoon.

    Though not trained as a medic, Lee left the relative safety of his truck to help pull wounded soldiers free of the wreckage. He chalks his actions up to way he was raised and what he believes.

    “I was raised to put others’ needs in front of my own,” said Lee, of Los Angeles. “I always want to take care of other people in front of me.”

    He has his soldiers’ backs, and they have his, Lee said.

    In the heat of battle, that service of others may even mean self-sacrifice.

    “Even if I don’t know them, I will take a bullet for someone so that they can have a good life,” said Lee. “[That’s] selfless service.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 10.05.2013
    Date Posted: 10.09.2013 12:25
    Story ID: 114949
    Location: WARDAK PROVINCE, AF 
    Hometown: COLUMBUS, GA, US
    Hometown: LOS ANGELES, CA, US

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