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Project Hero: Staff Sgt Michael Shropshire, Silver Star
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, May 26, 2007

Among the most valued members of any combat unit engaged in combat are the guys who coordinate and call in close air support, Air Force tactical air controllers. They're normally attached but when they get results like Staff Sgt Michael Shropshire did in the face of daunting obstacles and at the risk of his own life, they become accepted members of the unit they support:
Shropshire was honored for his contribution to Operation Iraqi Freedom at Abu Sukhayr, Iraq, in March 2003 when the Army unit he was attached to was attacked and surrounded by enemy forces. Surrounded, cut off, under a hail of enemy gunfire and in the largest sandstorm in four decades, Shropshire coordinated close air support while constantly switching from the radio handset to his rifle.

The sandstorm cut the controller visibility dramatically, and it was compounded by rain. “It was basically raining mud,” he said. Because of this fact, he heavily relied on outside technology like the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, which helped him to “see” through the muck.

The sergeant then left the security of his armored vehicle to confirm enemy armor locations. Low on ammunition, in a blinding sandstorm and under intense enemy fire, the sergeant directed the munitions that destroyed 10 T-72 tanks. This act dismounted enemy forces about to overrun the unit’s position. He then quickly repaired his bullet-ridden satellite antenna and coordinated other air strikes.
This sort of quick thinking, perseverance and commitment deserve to be recognized, especially when you realize the potential for disaster Staff Sgt Shropshire was able to avert. For his valor, Shropshire was awarded the Silver Star.


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: 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
SGT Joshua Szott: Silver Star
SPC Richard Ghent: Silver Star
CPL Mark Camp: Silver Star
The Veteran
CW3 Lori Hill: Distinguished Flying Cross
SGT Paul R. Smith: Medal of Honor
PFC Ross A. McGinnis: Silver Star
SGT Joseph E. Proctor: Silver Star
PFC Christopher Fernandez: Silver Star
MAJ James Gant: Silver Star
1SG John E. Mangels: Silver Star


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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