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This is the first of the reports on Medal of Honor recipients. We are going to pick them more or less at random, choosing those who seem to me to best embody the point I want to make about doing for others.
MEDALS OF HONOR AWARDED FOR ACTION IN SOMALIA
*GORDON, GARY I. Master Sergeant & *SHUGHART, RANDALL D. Sergeant First Class U.S. Army. Place and date: 3 October 1993, Mogidishu, Somalia.
Citation: Master Sergeant Gordon, and Sargeant First Class Shughart, United States Army, distinguished themselves by actions above and beyond the call of duty on 3 October 1993 while serving as Sniper Team Leader, United States Army Special Operations Command with Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu, Somalia. Master Sergeant Gordon's sniper team provided precision fires from the lead helicopter during an assault and at two helicopter crash sites, while subjected to intense automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenade fires. When Master Sergeant Gordon learned that ground forces were not immediately available to secure the second crash site, he and Sgt. First Class Shughart unhesitatingly volunteered to be inserted to protect the four critically wounded personnel, despite being well aware of the growing number of enemy personnel closing in on the site. After his third request to be inserted, Sergeants Gordon and Shughart received permission to perform the volunteer mission.
When debris and enemy ground fires at the site caused them to abort the first attempt, they were inserted one hundred meters south of the crash site. Equipped with only his sniper rifle and a pistol, Master Sergeant Gordon and his fellow sniper, while under intense small arms fire from the enemy, fought their way through a dense maze of shanties and shacks to reach the critically injured crew members. Master Sergeant Gordon immediately pulled the pilot and the other crew members from the aircraft, establishing a perimeter which placed him and his fellow sniper in the most vulnerable position. Master Sergeant Gordon used his long range rifle and side arm to kill an undetermined number of attackers until he depleted his ammunition. Master Sergeant Gordon then went back to the wreckage, recovering some of the crew's weapons and ammunition. Despite the fact that he was critically low on ammunition he provided some of it to the dazed pilot and then radioed for help. Master Sergeant Gordon continued to travel the perimeter, protecting the downed crew. After his team member was fatally wounded and his own rifle ammunition exhausted, Master Sergeant Gordon returned to the wreckage, recovering a rifle with the last five rounds of ammunition and gave it to the pilot with the words, "good luck." Then, armed only with his pistol, Master Sergeant Gordon continued to fight until he was fatally wounded.
Their actions saved the pilot's life. Master Sergeant Gordon's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest standards of military service and reflect great credit upon his unit and the United States Army.
Sergeant First Class Shughart's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest standards of military service and reflect great credit upon him, his unit and the United States Army.
We are still hearing from those of you who wanted to see these. There are about 900 from WWI to Present. If you have a neighbor or someone in your town who needs recognition please send me the details and we will fit them into this series.
All the best,
A. G. Russell
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