3 Silver Stars awarded for fierce firefight in Afghanistan
By Published: September 5, 2011
Spc. Jesse Snow, Staff Sgt. Sean Outman and Sgt. Rocky Bloom were among the members of the 1st BCT who were ambushed by Taliban fighters on Nov. 14, 2010, in Watapur Valley. Rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire slammed into the soldiers’ command post, immediately taking out some of their weapon systems, according to an account of the battle in the Army Times.
Snow dragged two comrades more than 30 feet to cover, fed his team ammunition under intense enemy fire, and used his body to shield a wounded soldier from intense, incoming machine-gun fire. He and four other soldiers were fatally wounded.
Bloom fixed a malfunctioning machine gun and began suppressing the enemy, then was shot as he ran to the aid of another soldier, who would later die of his wounds.
Outman and his gunner chased off an insurgent who was preparing to fire a rocket-propelled grenade at the soldiers from less than five meters away.
“I’m still trying to wrap my head around it,” Outman told Army Times. “I’m no hero. I did what I was supposed to do, and then I was recognized for it. That’s how I feel about that.”
Bloom, 31, feels the same way.
The Silver Star “wasn’t anything I was expecting for doing what I did out there,” he said. “We do what we’re trained to do, so any one of those guys in my platoon would have done the same thing.”
Read Army Times' detailed description of the firefight