Four more soldiers who served with the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment were honored in the past three days for their actions during the deadliest battle since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.

Capt. Mathew Myer and Sgt. Michael Denton were presented Monday with the Silver Star for their actions in Wanat. Sgt. 1st Class David Dwzik was given the Bronze Star Medal with "V" designation for valor. All three have left the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team and are currently stationed at Fort Benning, Ga.

The family of Cpl. Jonathan Ayers was presented with a Silver Star a day earlier in another ceremony in Snellville, Ga. Ayers was one of nine soldiers from Chosen Company killed in the July 13, 2008, attack.

Six Silver Stars and four Bronze Star Medals with valor have been presented thus far to soldiers involved in the battle, and sources with the brigade say that 11 Silver Stars have been approved for actions that day.

The Silver Star is the military’s third-highest award for valor, and soldiers with the battalion have been presented with 16 thus far for their 14-month tour in Afghanistan that ended a few weeks after the deadly battle.

A platoon-size element — augmented by additional personnel from the company — was manning a vehicle patrol base when they were attacked by enemy forces about four times its numbers. The compound was largely composed of a circle of vehicles, concertina wire and a few entrenched positions. Soldiers were planning to construct a more permanent base on the site and had recently moved from a more remote post that had been judged to be indefensible.

The well-coordinated attack initially targeted the mortar pit and command post. Soldiers involved in the battle said that fire came from every direction — including most buildings from the adjacent village — and there were few positions to find cover.

The observation post, located away from the rest of the compound, came under particularly heavy attack. Eight of the soldiers were killed around the post or trying to come to the aid of soldiers there. The battalion leadership strongly denied earlier reports that the position was ever in control of the enemy and said that soldiers held their ground and — with the help of reinforcements — eventually drove the enemy from the battlefield.

The battalion decided to abandon the site the next day, judging that since the village and local authorities had been complicit in the attack, it didn’t make sense to spend millions of dollars to build a more permanent compound there.

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Kent has filled numerous roles at Stars and Stripes including: copy editor, news editor, desk editor, reporter/photographer, web editor and overseas sports editor. Based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he’s been TDY to countries such as Afghanistan Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. Born in California, he’s a 1988 graduate of Humboldt State University and has been a journalist for 40 years.

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