Silver Stars awarded to eight Special Forces soldiers at Fort Bragg ceremony

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 28, 2014

FORT BRAGG (AP) — Eight soldiers from Fort Bragg’s 3rd Special Forces Group were awarded Silver Stars for acts of valor while serving in Afghanistan on Thursday, including one who managed to catch an enemy grenade in the air and tossed it aside to protect his fellow soldiers.
Lt. Gen. Charles Cleveland, commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, presented the awards during a ceremony at Fort Bragg. Cleveland also bestowed 28 Bronze Star Medals for Valor, 36 Army Commendation Medals for Valor and 27 Purple Hearts.
The Silver Star is the third-highest military decoration for valor and is given for gallantry in action against a U.S. enemy. It is being awarded in seven different actions that took place in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2013.
Those awarded the Silver Stars were:
Staff Sgt. Robert Ashwell; Sgt. 1st Class David Blish; Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Brown; Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Drew; Warrant Officer Robert Hinsley; Staff Sgt. Nicholas Lavery; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jason Myers; Master Sgt. Charles Ritter.
According to the Army narratives, Brown was honored for his actions after insurgents took over the Chamki district center on Nov. 10, 2011. The insurgents had killed three Afghan police and taken hostages. Brown led the attack to clear the center, and was met with a thrown grenade upon entering one room. Brown caught the explosive in his hand and threw it into a corner of the lobby, also throwing himself over an Afghan officer to shield him from the blast.
Myers also took part in the same Nov. 10 Chamki action. He entered the complex three times to fight barricaded suicide bombers, rescue hostages and clear booby-trapped rooms. He was wounded in the hands, arms, buttocks and legs.