Green Beret soldiers honored at Fort Bragg

December 16, 2009 5:49:03 PM PST
Members of the 3rd Special Forces based at Fort Bragg were awarded Wednesday for repeatedly risking their lives to help their unit mates during battles in Afghanistan.Master Sergeant Anthony Siriwardene was awarded a Silver Star. Military leaders say during combat operations in August, the Special Forces soldier put himself in harm's way on several occasions while being attacked and ambushed by Taliban fighters.

His actions helped save the lives of his small and out numbered detachment.

"I think they thought they were pursuing us, but every engagement with their casualties and the outcome and they weigh the guys on the detachment performed, which was amazing," Siriwardene said. "And I caught glimpses of that and other guys on the team were just phenomenal. I think we had the advantage."

Staff Sergeant Linsey Clarke is a junior medic. He also received the Silver Star for exposing himself to direct enemy fire during a medical evacuation. His actions, along with others are credited with saving the lives of fellow soldiers.

"We both dismounted and I started securing the sight," Clarke said. "Got up to my buddy and the gunner on truck three, Staff Sergeant Ingelhart did a quick medical assessment on him, pulled him from the vehicle. It was already on fire."

In addition to the two Silver Stars, nine Bronze Stars with valor devices, six Purple Hearts and 25 Army Commendation Medals with valor devices were also awarded.

They are all proud soldiers who don't look at themselves as heroes.

"Ah, it's not an accurate representation Sir," Clarke said. "It's what a team does for its teammates. Those guys would have done the same thing for me."

Sergeant Clarke received his Silver Star after his first deployment to Afghanistan and Master Sergeant Siriwardene after his seventh.

Both men say they know it is not the last time they'll see action in Afghanistan.

Many of the soldiers honored Wednesday will redeploy to Afghanistan after the first of the year.

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