173rd paratrooper earns Silver Star
BAMBERG, Germany — A 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team paratrooper was decorated with the nation’s third-highest award for wartime valor Wednesday.
Staff Sgt. Lincoln V. Dockery, 26, of Company A, 173rd Special Troops Battalion, was awarded the Silver Star for charging into an enemy ambush Nov. 16, 2007, during a roadside bomb and small-arms attack in eastern Afghanistan’s volatile Korengal River Valley.
Standing with his wife, Dominika, son Lincoln and daughter Pria, Dockery accepted his Silver Star and a Purple Heart from V Corps commander Lt. Gen. Kenneth Hunzeker, who was on Warner Barracks attending a leadership conference.
"Truly, Sergeant Dockery is an NCO who has stepped forward," Hunzeker said in his brief remarks, adding that Dockery’s main goal in life is to be a better husband and father.
Part of the route-clearance platoon for Task Force Rock, Dockery was leading a convoy on a bomb-finding mission. Intelligence supported that hostile activity had been sighted in the area, and Dockery and his men were clearing the same stretch of road for the third consecutive day.
Dockery’s lead vehicle was struck by a bomb.
After making sure the driver was safe, Dockery and then-Spc. Corey Taylor braved shrapnel injuries, bullets and grenades and made an uphill assault on the insurgents.
Taylor, now a sergeant, has since moved on to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. He also has been recommended for a valorous award for his actions that day, and his name was the first Dockery mentioned after Hunzeker gave him the floor Wednesday, wishing Taylor could be his side.
Having spent 39 months away his eight-year career, Dockery said his time in Afghanistan was best.
"It was my third deployment, but my best deployment. All our guys made it back."