Enduring Freedom Silver Star Series Pt. 2

Staff SgtMatthew Blaskowski – Chosen Company, 2/503rd PIR. On 3 May 2005, elements of 3rd Platoon, 1st Platoon and the Company Headquarters were called forward into the Arghandab River Valley to the village of Bulac Kalay to assist fellow Rock Paratroopers under attack by enemy forces. The ensuing 6 hour fight left 17 enemies killed and 10 captured. Chosen Company evacuated four of our own to medical facilities in Germany – SSG Matthew Blaskowski, SGT Tim Brumley, PFC Matthew King and PFC Tyler Wilson. Several other soldiers received minor wounds and are back to duty with the company. Chosen Company performed their duty against America’s enemies in truly remarkable fashion with ferocious and raw courage.

As events transpired, each paratrooper rose to the challenge and fought with determined resolve that won the day. I am truly amazed at the heroic effort each and every member from the riflemen to the mortar crews put forth – all moving together, each knowing his actions directly impacted on his brothers on either side of himself. I am proud beyond mere words of our paratroopers.

We delivered a decisive blow against evil. Listed below will be the status of our wounded paratroopers. We will keep in contact with them during their recovery. Together we shall remain strong and continue to make the world a safer place.

CAMP H.M. SMITH — Even as Master Sgt. Suran Sar charged multiple enemy firing at him in the mountains of Afghanistan, he knew it wasn’t his turn to die. But he came within a hairbreadth. As Sar burst into a windowless wood-and-earthen mountain shelter near the Pakistan border, an enemy fighter fired a burst from his AK-47 at point-blank range.

Two of the bullets missed. A third creased Sar’s Kevlar helmet and snapped his chin strap. Sar won’t give the specifics of what happened next, but the Army Special Forces soldier collected a handful of firearms — most of which weren’t given voluntarily. And yesterday a Silver Star was pinned on Sar’s chest.

Recalling the March 5 firefight, Sar said: “At that point, I knew I’m coming home.” He added, “I already know, if I’m supposed to go, I do believe, I’m Buddhist, and if I’m supposed to go, I’ll go.”

Sar, who is Cambodian and has been a U.S. citizen since 1986, that day flanked a ridge and surprised other militants who had his team pinned down, and is credited with saving the lives of fellow service members with Operational Detachment Alpha 732.

Yesterday’s recognition was the latest remarkable turn for the humble man who is based at Camp Smith but grew up under the murderous regime of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

“He didn’t want this,” Army Brig. Gen. David P. Fridovich, commander of Special Operations Command-Pacific, said of the ceremony attended by more than 100 command members and local media.

The attention was not intended to embarrass Sar, 39, which it did. Rather, it was to recognize his achievements and “what he has given back to the nation,” Fridovich said.

“You’ve already given us so much more in return than we could ever repay you,” Fridovich said

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