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Project Hero: SGT Joshua Szott, Silver Star
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, October 21, 2006

This week I offered a tribute to another artilleryman who was awarded the Medal of Honor in Vietnam, 2LT Harold "Pinky" Durham, a forward observer with the 1st ID. So it is only fitting that this week's Project Hero warrior is also an artilleryman and a forward observer with the 4th ID.
Sgt. Joshua Szott, a native of Sacramento, Calif., was awarded the Army's [third] highest award by Maj. Gen. J.D. Thurman. commanding general of the 4th Inf. Div., for exceptional courage and conspicuous gallantry while serving as a scout in the 1st Brigade Combat Team Reconnaissance Troop during combat Team action in Tikrit, Iraq, Sept. 18. 2003. "Sgt. Szott is an example of what the Army has stood for the last 229 years," said Thurman. "He is a quality Soldier, who has a great future in the Army."

Szott currently serves as a fire support noncommissioned officer with Troop C, 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry. He joined the Army at 17 as a forward observer and has been assigned to Fort Hood since December 2000. He deployed to Iraq in support of OIF with Troop G. 10th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Inf. Div. in March 2003.

In heavy fighting during an enemy ambush. Szott helped carry four wounded comrades to safety even though he was shot in the left leg and took shrapnel in his right leg during the fight. He also forced the retreat of more than 20 enemy guerillas from their dug-in positions, which ultimately led to the defeat and capture of those responsible for the attack.

"This Soldier exemplifies the Warrior Ethos." added Thurman. "He refused to be evacuated out of the country after he was injured. He represents what our Army is all about."

Even though Szott was offered convalescent leave to heal from his injuries, the dedicated Soldier turned down the rest time and went back to his unit to help with patrols. "Battles are not won by machines, but by Soldiers." said Col. James Hickey, commander of the 1st BCT. "Sgt. Szott is one of them. He is one of our gallant Soldiers. and I believe he epitomizes what we all aspire to be."
SGT Szott's story is one which really needs no further amplification. Faced with the possibility that his comrades might be killed, he put whatever fear he had behind him and did what was necessary to end the threat and save his buddies. That is the true meaning of valor.


Previously featured in "Project Hero":

1LT Brian Chontosh: Navy Cross
PFC Daniel McClenney: Silver Star
PVT Dwayne Turner: Silver Star
MSG Robert Collins & SFC Danny Hall: Silver Star
SSG William Thomas Payne: Silver Star
CPT Christoper J. Bronzi: Silver Star
SSG Charles Good: Silver Star
SR AMN Jason D. Cunningham: Air Force Cross
PFC Jeremy Church: Silver Star
SGT Leigh Ann Hester: Silver Star
CSM Ron Riling: Silver Star
CPL Jason L. Dunham: nominee, Medal of Honor
PFC Joseph Perez: Navy Cross
COL James Coffman, Jr: Distinguished Service Cross
1LT Karl Gregory: Silver Star
1LT Brian Stann: Silver Star
MSG Anthony Pryor: Silver Star
TSGT John Chapman: Air Force Cross
MSG Sarun Sar: Silver Star
1LT Jeffery Lee: Silver Star
SGT James Witkowski: Silver Star
SGT Timothy Connors: Silver Star
PO2 Juan Rubio: Silver Star
SFC David Lowe: Silver Star
SGT Leandro Baptista: Silver Star
SPC Gerrit Kobes: Silver Star
SSG Anthony Viggiani: Navy Cross
LCPL Carlos Gomez-Perez: Silver Star
SGT Joshua Szott: Silver Star
MSG Donald R. Hollenbaugh: Distinguished Service Cross
SGT Jarred L. Adams: Silver Star
1LT Thomas E Cogan: Silver Star
MAJ Mark E. Mitchell: Distinguished Service Cross
CPL Robert Mitchell Jr: Navy Cross
SGT David Neil Wimberg: Silver Star
CWO3 Christopher Palumbo: Silver Star
SGT Tommy Rieman: Silver Star
SCPO Britt Slabinski: Navy Cross
LT David Halderman: FDNY - 9/11/01
1LT Stephen Boada: Silver Star
1LT Neil Prakash: Silver Star
SFC Gerald Wolford: Silver Star
SGT Tommy Rieman: Silver Star
SSG Matthew Zedwick: Silver Star
LCPL Christopher Adlesperger: nominee Medal of Honor


PROJECT HERO is an ongoing attempt to highlight the valor of our military as they fight in both Iraq and Afghanistan. We constantly hear the negative and far to little of the positive and inspiring stories coming out of those countries. This is one small attempt to rectify that. If you know of a story of valor you'd like to see highlighted here (published on Saturday), please contact us. And we'd appreciate your link so we can spread the word.
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