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.
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.