Sgt. Paul Cusack, an Army Ranger at Joint Lewis-McChord gets a medal for valor and bravery outside his service in battlefield. But still his experience last April was similar to a war zone.
During the marathon held in Boston, about at the finish line, two pressure- cooler bombs exploded and rocked the crowd. Suddenly the street was jam-packed with wounded and injured people, some lost their body parts and were all shocked.
Sgt. Paul Cusack, with the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment had just reached the 26.2 mile race. With his instinct and readiness, he immediately ran toward the scene and helped the wounded and bombing incident victims instead of securing his own safety. He helped in giving the victims first aid and calming down the people and getting them out from the scene and bringing them to a safe place. "He worked and moved quickly as much as possible to save many lives" said Piek.
For his heroism, the Army will award Sgt. Cusack a Soldier's Medal at a ceremony at JBLM.
In the Second World War Dirk J. Vlug, and American soldier of the US Army left a path of destruction still to this day unequaled by his peers. His feat was almost unbelievable. On 15th of December, 1944, an ordinary private 1st class Dirk J. Vlug from one of the Infantry Regiments single-handedly demolished five enemy tanks. Here is how this incredible feat went down:
-He advanced without cover and came under enemy fire (37-mm machine gun). He was carrying a rocket launcher. He carried with him six rounds of ammunition.
- After loading up the rocket launcher, he put the first tank to waste. With just a single round the enemy tank was destroyed and all those poor souls inside were killed immediately.
-The crew of the second enemy tank started out to where he was stationed for his attack. He killed one by firing his pistol. The others headed back to the tank. With the second round, he shot at the tank and totally destroyed it.
-Three tanks rolled up to put end to the destruction. He flanked the first one that came. It was destroyed as well.
-Under heavy enemy fire he pressed on and destroyed one more enemy tank.
-He used his land round of ammunition to strike the last tank. It crashed onto a steep embankment and was destroyed.
To summarize, Vlug managed to singlehandedly annihilate five enemy tanks. He acted on his own to accomplish the mission that was assigned to his whole battalion.
One year later, on 26th of June, 1946, Dirk John Vlug was presented the prestigious Medal of Honor.
Dirk John Vlug died a hero in 1996. Rest in Peace.
Do you have any heroic story that can top this one?
The gold medal of Honor is hanging around this soldier's neck, but you can see the prosthetic in his hand that catches your attention.
The hand is able to hold a glass or shake someone's hand, just like the one that a ranger used last week to shake President Obama's hand as he became the 2nd living veteran since the sixties to be awarded the highest honor offered by our nation.
These hand movements are all controlled by a motion sensor that is connected to the brain and allows the user to do many normal actions.
When he needs to, the soldier can change his hand to suit different circumstances. When he's doing some work in the kitchen he can take off the hand part and put a knife blade on his arm so that he can prepare food easily for his family.
When he's out with his friends golfing he can attach another special device that helps him hold the golf club correctly so he can swing just as well as the other players.
"I'm not the best player in the world, but I have a good time" the soldier said in a meeting with the press. "I'm able to really relax and have a fun time. Plus I've met a lot of fantastic people doing it."
The soldier lost his hand when he was trying to grab a hand grenade and throw it in another direction. By doing that he saved the lives of two fellow soldiers and was awarded a medal at the White House.
When he was a child he always saw the medal as something that would be an honor to be awarded. However, when he won it he felt completely overwhelmed because of all the attention he was receiving.
Over the last week he travelled all around, including visit to Ground Zero, and also waving to fans at a baseball game in New York.
But it is his new hand that has gotten the most looks, showing some of the improvements in military technology that are letting more injured veterans to serve on after injury in the military.
"I just want to say that your hand is pretty awesome before we get into the show," said a famous show host before he began an interview with the soldier.
The soldier stated his experience with the advances in military medicine came when he was first in a hospital for burn victims and amputees.
"When I walked around the place I was amazed. I couldn't even tell the difference when I saw a guy with a fake leg when he had pants on," the soldier said. "I was amazed. The technology has come so far that there's nothing that they can't do."
He also has been brought down to earth by the "great moods" of other soldiers with medical problems much worse than his. In his current job he helps injured military personnel from all areas and their families.
He gives advice to soldiers and also assists families set up transport, meals and a place to stay.
But he, even after being injured, wanted to go back to serve. Earlier this year he went back to the Middle East for his 8th tour in a war zone.
"Over the past couple of years I've been seeing the other men training, and it's fantastic to finally be back and serving again," he said.
"The most difficult thing about this was having my wife understand why I wanted to go back. She said that I had already lost so much, why would I want to go back?"
The soldier said to her that his risk isn't any more than the other soldiers already over there serving.
She responded by saying that she knew it was important for him and that he should be with his men.
When Josh Hargis was an Army Ranger stationed in Afghanistan's Panjwai district he came under enemy fire and suffered wounds. He survived his severe injuries while four of his team members were killed.
This soldier was given the Purple Heart by the American government. The photo above was sent to his wife that was taken by his commander and the note that came with it is an inspirational message.
It took couple of hours after Josh was wounded before he arrived at the hospital to be treated. When he was seen by doctors, he was immediately operated on. Many hours later, he emerged from the ICU at the Afghan base of the US military in severe pain & mental duress. However, he was alert and he received the few Rangers allowed at this bedside.
Before he was transferred to Germany where he would be flown back to the US, Joshua was given the Purple Heart. The simple ceremony was held in honor of the wounds that he received in action. Imagine a room full of Ranges, doctors, nurses surrounding the wounded soldier who was confined in bed. The Ranger Regimental Commander presented the medal and pinned it to Josh's blanket. The official orders were published verbally. The Commander leaned over to Josh and sincerely thanked him for his noble sacrifice. The 50 people in the room assumed that Josh was unconscious at that time, but he started moving his right arm in an effort to salute the officer. The doctor tried to restrain Josh because his right arm had all sorts of tubes and bandages over his wounds, but Josh fought the doctor and successfully rendered a salute.
That day, the height of emotion which permeated the ICU was truly intense. All the men and women were overcome and began to weep as Joshua's simple gesture spoke volumes about his character. The picture that deserves a place in every newspaper and news channel is now hanging above my desk. For me, it is the greatest event that I have witnessed in my 10 years serving in the US Army.