Fort Jackson Soldier Earns Silver Star
(June 25, 2009)
Brig. Gen. Bradley May, Fort Jackson commanding general, salutes Staff Sgt. Sean Samaroo, 4th Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, during the Silver Star presentation as Samaroo's wife, Natasha, looks on with pride.
||FORT JACKSON, SC - Staff Sgt. Sean Samaroo, 4th
Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, was awarded
the Silver Star for his actions in Afghanistan
in a ceremony June 11.
The ceremony took place at the newly designated
Wanat Range, formerly known as Camden Range.
Samaroo received the award, the nation's third
highest military decoration, for his part in the
Battle of Wanat, which took place 2008 in the
eastern province of Nuristan, Afghanistan.
Samaroo is also a Purple Heart and Bronze Star
"There were a lot of heroes out there,"
Samaroo said. "Some maybe didn't get recognized as much as
me. I'm pretty thankful and honored."
On the morning of July 13, 14 months into Samaroo's
deployment, an estimated 200 enemy fighters launched a
coordinated assault on a small vehicle patrol base manned by
approximately 50 American and coalition troops.|
As the battle began, Samaroo - then with Company C, 2nd
Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade -
and his squad were manning a traffic control point near the
base. Samaroo's squad successfully defended the traffic
control point before reinforcing an observation point, which
was under threat to be overrun by the attackers.
On his way to the observation point - an uphill climb
through exposed terrain - Samaroo encountered three wounded
Soldiers, whom he and his squad brought to safety.
Samaroo himself was wounded by shrapnel and was bleeding
from the head and legs, but refused to leave his position
until reinforcements arrived.
Nine American Soldiers were killed in the attack; 27
Americans and four Afghan soldiers were wounded.
Samaroo credited his training and instinct with helping him
through the situation.
"There was a time that I did not want to go up that hill,"
he admitted. "I thought that it was too early. There's such
a thing as tactical patience. You have to let the battle
Because of that, I believe we saved a (few) more lives that
After he was wounded, Samaroo said goodbye to his wife and
son aloud, according to a first-person account read during
the ceremony by Lt. Col. Richard McDermott, 4th Bn., 10th
Inf. Reg., commander.
"That's when I said, 'Man, this is it. You're gone,'"
Samaroo said. "I really thought I was, but I just clicked
like that and started focusing back on what I had to do."
Samaroo admitted that the incident changed his life.
"Any time you have a near-death experience ... it changes
you. It does. You think about the small things in life," he
Samaroo, who has been in the Army for nine years, came to
Fort Jackson in January as a cadre instructor at Camden
Range. The range, which has been undergoing extensive
upgrades, was renamed "Wanat Mounted Convoy Live Fire Range"
in honor of the Soldiers who died during the Battle of Wanat.
Brig. Gen. Bradley May, Fort Jackson commanding general,
called the renaming a fitting tribute as the range will be
used to train "skills that will allow (Soldiers) to thrive
in combat, just as Staff Sgt. Samaroo did."
Samaroo said he hopes to pass on those skills and ultimately
intends to become a drill sergeant.
"That's always been a dream of mine, being a drill
sergeant," he said. "I want to be able to share what I
learned as a combat Soldier."
Article and photo by Susanne Kappler
Fort Jackson Leader
Reprinted from Army News / DoD
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