Monday, February 20, 2012

Cambodian American Hero

Sarun Sar
      Sarun Sar

  • Hometown: Rockville, MD
  • Awarded: Silver Star
  • Master Sgt. Sar and his 12-man special operations team were sent to search for Taliban fighters in the snowy mountains of eastern Afghanistan on March 5, 2005. The day before, they had been scouting and had spied some suspicious activity in a small village. They returned to base to re-supply and headed back out the next day.
    As the team’s helicopters attempted to land outside an area suspected of sheltering insurgents, the group began to receive heavy fire from the direction of the village. Realizing the dangerous situation they were in, Sar leapt out of the helicopter before it landed, hitting the ground running in the direction of the gunfire.
    Sar pushed ahead and turned around to yell out instructions to his team; that’s when he realized he was out front alone. His team was temporarily pinned down near the helicopters, helping the other team suppress the enemy fire. The enemy fighters had spotted Sar, and were firing in his direction; still, Sar kept low and waited for his team to catch up.
    Three enemies decided they could overcome one lone man, and rushed toward Sar – however, Sar was prepared for the attack. Sar killed one attacker, prompting the other two to flee. One ran for the hills, the other into a hut. Screaming over his radio for help, Sar rushed toward the hut to chase the second Taliban fighter.
    With his team finally caught up to him, Sar and a medic crept cautiously into the house. Suddenly, a spray of AK-47 fire was erupting all around them; Sar was hit on the helmet but escaped any injury. Sar grabbed his grenade and threw it toward the gunfire, killing the second enemy instantly and allowing he and his teammate to move forward. He and the medic then cleared the house, room to room.
    Once it and the surrounding area were cleared, Sar and his team treated the wounded while the other team of six chased Taliban fighters who had fled to the hills. Once reinforcements finally arrived, Sar’s team helped sweep the village, rounded up a large cache of enemy weapons.
    For his actions, Sar was awarded the Silver Star in January 2006. For separate actions in Afghanistan, Sar was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor in March 2006.

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