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    Honoring a Heroes Legacy: 3-15 Infantry Regiment Hosts Family of Medal of Honor Recipient

    Honoring a Heroes Legacy:  3-15 Infantry Regiment Hosts Family of Medal of Honor Recipient

    Photo By Spc. Jordyn Worshek | Pfc. Joseph Miller, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion,...... read more read more

    FORT STEWART, GA, UNITED STATES

    03.12.2019

    Story by Spc. Jordyn Worshek 

    2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs

    Honoring a Heroes Legacy:
    3-15 Infantry Regiment Hosts Family of Medal of Honor Recipient
    By Spc. Jordyn Worshek

    The Medal of Honor is the highest recognition for actions on the battlefield. It is awarded for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. During World War II Sgt. Sylvester Antolak, a Soldier assigned to 1st Platoon, Company B, 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, made the ultimate sacrifice for his men against the German enemy.
    Last week, Bob Antolak, the nephew of Sgt. Antolak, and his wife Donna, visited the “China” Battalion to honor his memory and view the Battalion in which he served. Lt. Col. Arthur McGrue, 3-15 IN Battalion Commander, escorted the Antolaks to the “China Room,” where the history and achievements of the unit are held, at Fort Stewart, Ga., March 12, 2019.
    Pfc. Joseph Miller and Staff Sgt. Tyrone Love guided the Antolaks through the storied room, explaining the historical significance of flags, awards, photos and artifacts held by the unit. The Antolaks gained further understanding of Sylvester’s contribution to the history of 3-15 IN, as the Soldiers gave detailed accounts of multiple artifacts from the era in which he served.
    The most decorated Soldier in U.S. history, Lt. Audie Murphy, also served in 3-15 IN during the siege of Italy, where Antolak earned his Medal of Honor. Murphy witnessed Antolak’s heroic actions that earned him the Medal of Honor and referenced them in his memoir titled, “To Hell and Back.”
    According to the official citation on honorstates.org, “Sgt. Antolak charged 200 yards over flat, coverless terrain to destroy an enemy machinegun nest during the second day of the offensive which broke through the German cordon of steel around the Anzio beachhead. Fully 30 yards in advance of his squad, he ran into withering enemy machinegun, machine-pistol and rifle fire. Three times he was struck by bullets and knocked to the ground, but each time he struggled to his feet to continue his relentless advance.”
    Because of his willingness to sacrifice his own life, superb fighting courage, and heroic devotion to the attack, Antolak was directly responsible for eliminating 20 Germans, capturing an enemy machinegun, and clearing the path for his company to advance. That legacy of bravery endures to this day.
    “We’ve been trying to trace my uncle’s steps to see if there was anything like we saw today, and this is where it all is,” said Bob Antolak, referring to the China Room. “Growing up, you kind of heard the story. My father is a World War 2 vet, so [on] Memorial Day you would hear the story. In 1990, we got some records so I could see the diagram of what he had done. I think with age and time you appreciate and understand it more, and we’re very proud.”
    Antolak’s legacy continues to inspire family members since his actions in 1944. His nephew, Paul, spoke as a section of Interstate 70 was dedicated in his honor, and a statue pays homage to Antolak in his birthplace of St. Clairsville, Ohio. Through the years, Donna and Bob Antolak still pursue and discover more information, painting a canvas both large and extraordinary.
    “Our son did more research into it and we said, ‘Wow, it really happened this way and it’s really awe inspiring and amazing- the dedication he had.’ It’s humbling to think that you are related to someone who did something as amazing as he did,” explained Donna Antolak. “And the company he’s in. The other people are just amazing.”
    That heritage still beats in the heart of modern 3-15 IN Soldiers, including battalion commander Lt. Col. Arthur McGrue.
    “His actions are essentially what I keep trying to drum into our junior leaders now. I want our team leaders to continue to close with and destroy the enemy, and as they do that, they have their Soldiers with them in tow,” said McGrue. “And when you read his story, he does exactly just that, despite being wounded and shot multiple times. He continues to get up and move until he destroys the German machine gun nest.
    “Although he was killed on that day, his actions inspired his men to move forward and [they] ended up winning that battle. Those types of triumphs give others the courage to move forward and ensure victory.”
    McGrue hopes the family walked away knowing the mark Sgt. Sylvester Antolak left, and the inspiration he is for others.
    “The one thing I want them to be able to walk away with is neither his name nor his fame will ever perish as long as the regiment is around. He will always be on this wall and be remembered as one of the famous heroes of 3-15 IN.”
    For more photos visit the 3-15 IN facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/315IN/, the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team Twitter @SpartanBrigade, and DVIDShub.net.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.12.2019
    Date Posted: 03.16.2019 18:34
    Story ID: 314550
    Location: FORT STEWART, GA, US 

    Web Views: 49
    Downloads: 1
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