Forget Britney's awesome come back, or Angolina Jolie telling Hollywood that Surge totally rocked or HRC's amazing campaign to clinch the oval office.
It was dusk on April 25, 2007, when Monica Linn Brown, a medic from the 82nd Airborne Division’s 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, was on a routine security patrol along the rolling, rocky plains of the isolated Jani Khail district in Afghanistan’s Paktika province when insurgents attacked her convoy.
“We’d been out on the mission for a couple of days. We had just turned into a wadi (empty river bed) when our gunner yelled at us that the vehicle behind us had hit an (improvised explosive device).”
I only saw the smoke from the vehicle when suddenly we started taking small-arms fire from all around us. Our gunner starting firing back, and my platoon sergeant yelled, ‘Doc! Let’s go.’”“Everyone was already out of the burning vehicle. But even before I got there, I could tell that two of them were injured very seriously.”
In fact, all five of the passengers who had stumbled out were burned and cut. Two soldiers, Spcs. Stanson Smith and Larry Spray, suffered life-threatening injuries.
“There was pretty heavy incoming fire at this point.”
With help from two less-injured vehicle crewmen, Sgt. Zachary Tellier and Spc. Jack Bodani, Brown moved the immobile soldiers to a relatively safe distance from the burning Humvee.
“Rounds were literally missing her by inches”
Attempting to provide proper medical care under the heavy fire became impossible, especially when the attackers stepped up efforts to kill the soldiers.
"We took off to a more secure location several hundred meters away, where we were able to call in the medevac”
Two hours after the initial attack, everything was over. In the darkness, Brown recalled standing in a field, knee-deep in grass, her only source of light coming from her red head-light, trying to piece together the events that had just taken place.
“Looking back, it was just a blur of noise and movement.What just happened? Did I do everything right? It was a hard thing to think about.”
Before joining the Army at the age of 17, the bright-eyed young woman said she never pictured herself being in a situation like this. Originally wanting to be an X-ray technician, she changed her mind when she realized that by becoming a medic, she’d be in the best place to help people.
"When people I’ve treated come back to me later and tell me the difference I was able to make in their life is the best part of this job.”
During her rest and recuperation leave in May, Brown visited Spray in the hospital and met his mother. “I almost cried,” Brown said.
“Spray’s mother was so thankful, and she hugged me. That was the moment that made me feel the best about what I did.”
Monica Linn Brown earned the Silver Star that day
"Bravery, unselfish actions and medical aid rendered under fire saved the lives of her comrades and represents the finest traditions of heroism in combat."
Congratulations on earning the Silver Star. America is VERY proud of you Monica, your service and character.