Engineer receives Silver Star for bulldozing VBIED breach, saving lives

| March 19, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photo by
Sgt. Ricardo Branch
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Soldiers of the 8th Theater Sustainment Command’s 130th Engineer Brigade gathered to pay tribute and honor one of their own during a Silver Star Award ceremony here, March 10.

Sgt. Scott Brooks, 82nd Eng. Support Company, 65th Eng. Battalion, 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, was awarded the Silver Star for his actions during his Operation Iraqi Freedom deployment.

Sgt. Scott Brooks, 82nd Engineer Support Company, 65th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, receives the Silver Star medal from Maj. Gen. Michael Terry, commanding general, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, during an award ceremony, March 10, at Schofield Barracks. Brooks received the award from his actions during deployment, June 25, 2007. Brooks was serving as a heavy equipment operator for the 618th Eng. Co., 82nd Airborne Division, when he was involved a firefight, June 25, 2007. Insurgents detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, blowing a large hole in the perimeter wall at Forward Operating Base Summerall, Iraq.

While the enemy was seizing the initiative, Brooks took well-aimed shots to stop the flow of insurgents attempting to enter the breach before sprinting to a bulldozer and moving debris and scrap metal as a stop-gap in the wall.

“I was working a dozer to push debris into a breach created by a VBIED,” Brooks said. “There were people, Soldiers and Iraqis, lying about injured in harm’s way, and another VBIED could come through the breach at anytime while I was busy moving things to block the hole.”

The 25-year-old, Middleville, Mich., native woke up that morning ready to perform his duties during the 15-month military buildup to bring about change in Iraq.  He never imagined, however, that he’d be helping save lives that morning.

“I had no idea I’d be involved in something like that,” he said. “I was just doing what I had to do because people were hurt. You never ask to be involved in something like that, but when it happens, you just do what you have to do.”

During the Silver Star ceremony, Terry hailed Brooks as a hero.

“These days we use the term ‘hero’ too loosely,” Terry said. “Every time something goes on, we describe someone as a hero. However, there’s no doubt that from the actions Brooks took in June of 2007, the only fitting definition is hero.

“Those of us who have been there often have to look deep down within ourselves and consider how we would react to a given situation, and there’s no doubt that Brooks performed heroically,” Terry said. “Sgt. Brooks came into our Army in 2004; he’s part of the 9-11 generation, and you all here are that generation — the next greatest generation.”

Close members of Brooks’ immediate family were present for the occasion, including his wife, Kristen; sons Aiden, age 10; Conlan, 2; and Nolan, 1; his father, Robert; brother, James; and cousin, Sue.

“You all call him a hero for that day, but I call him a hero every day,” his wife said.

Brooks enters the ranks of Silver Star heroes such as Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester, and Vice Adm. James Stockdale.

The Silver Star is the third highest military award for valor in combat given to any member of any branch of the armed forces.

“I’m really speechless, I have no words today to describe what this all means,” Brooks said. “I’m really blessed because I must have had someone watching out for me that day.”

Category: News

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