FORT JACKSON, S.C. (Dec. 13, 2012) -- A Fort Jackson Soldier was
awarded the Bronze Star Medal for valor last week for his courage
and efforts to save the lives of his fellow Soldiers in 2010.
Col. Odie Sheffield, left, commander of the 165th Infantry Brigade,
presents Sgt. 1st Class Clint Lyons with the Bronze Star Medal for
valor on December 7, 2012 at the 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry
Regiment headquarters at Fort Jackson, S.C. Lyons received the medal
for his actions in Afghanistan in 2010, and now serves as a drill
sergeant with the 1-61st. Photo by David Shanes, Fort Jackson
Sgt. 1st Class Clint Lyons, a drill sergeant with 1st Battalion,
61st Infantry Regiment, "distinguished himself by valorous actions"
Nov. 7, 2010, while serving as a platoon sergeant with the 2nd
Brigade Combat Team, 327th Infantry Regiment, in Kunar Valley,
Afghanistan, during Operation Bastogne Overwatch XI.
"Bastogne Overwatch is basically how we supply our most northern
squadron," said Post Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Benson, during the
award presentation at 1-61st headquarters Friday.
The mission took 17 hours to make the trip, and took three to
four days to complete, he said.
"We would have to drive all
of our resupplies and fuel up north," said Benson, who was the
command sergeant major for the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 327th. "We
did those about once a month. I drove on six of them. (Our enemies)
would try to intercept that resupply, because they knew that was
what we were using to kill them.
Lyons said he was told to expect a firefight on the Nov. 7
"It was pretty rough," he said. "We got pinned down for
about eight hours by the enemy and had a few casualties."
The battalion commander warned them they would be
heading into a "hornet's nest," he said.
"(Command) was going to let
us take the firefight instead of the (supply) vehicles,"
Lyons said. "'Stand and fight' was the order we were given,
so it was expected. We hit the ground and tried to prepare
ourselves for what was to come. At daylight, the firefight
The enemy had 70 to 80 heavily armed
fighters trying to overrun the platoon's perimeter and take
American hostages, according to the award narrative.
"Once (Sgt. 1st Class) Lyons felt he had a grasp on the
situation at hand, he did the most important thing on the
battlefield and informed his higher headquarters in order to
bring other assets into the fight," the award narrative
reads. "Since radio contact could not be established with
the control point, (Sgt. 1st Class) Lyons moved over 100
meters under intense enemy fire in order to inform (command)
of the enemy situation."
Lyons also provided
suppressive fire as a casualty was transported from the
"Lyons continued to perform with extreme valor
under fire as he coordinated the successful re-establishment
of security west of the (hostile landing zone) to a more
defensible position," the narrative explains. "Lyons'
actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of
military service and reflect distinct credit upon himself,
the 2-327th Infantry Regiment, the 1st Brigade Combat Team,
the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and the United
His family was told Lyons had been
involved in combat, but was given no other details about the
"We had to wait three days before we knew
that he was OK," said his mother, Sharmin Hodge. "After
that, we were just waiting to find out what else had
happened. But (Clint) was pretty tight lipped about the
incident and just let everybody know he was alright."
Lyons is a native of Gibsonville, N.C., a town of about
800 people, where he played football for the Eastern
Guilford High School Wildcats as a teen. Lyons joined the
Army when he was 17 and has served for almost 10 years.
"If it wasn't for his platoon, and the other platoons on
this same mission, we would have had a lot of Soldiers
killed and would not have been able to accomplish our
mission up to the north," Benson said.
Star Medal is the fourth-highest combat decoration and the
ninth highest U.S. military award in order of precedence. It
can be awarded for acts of heroism and merit, or meritorious
service in a combat zone. When awarded for acts of heroism,
the medal is awarded with the "V" device.
it's great that he was acknowledged for what he did," Hodge
said. "I'm proud of him for this. Clint's a great dad and I
respect how he's been able to handle himself the way he has
since he's got back. That's his greatest achievement, I
By Wallace McBride, Fort Jackson Leader
Army News Service
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