Monday, February 20, 2012

Master Sgt. Sarun Sar, Silver Star recipient, shares his story with the West Pearl Harbor Rotary Club

Source: Cambodian Community of Hawaii
Article submitted by: Mark Silliman

On February 1, 2006, Master Sgt. Sarun Sar visited the West Pearl Harbor Rotary Club in Waipahu to share his story on his experience as a American-Cambodian career soldier, as well as other life experience.
Master Sgt. Sarun Sar was born in Kom Puong Speir Province Cambodia on May 15, 1966. His father was a schoolteacher in Phnom Srong and his mother took care of the home and family farm. He had two sisters and three brothers. He grew up in war torn Cambodia during the insurgency of the Khmer Rouge. He attended school in Cambodia until 1975 when the communist insurgency won the war. His father was arrested and his brothers and sisters were separated from his family. He and his older sister were sent to a western province near the Thai-Cambodia border.
In 1979, the war came to his life again. In December 1980, he received a visa to enter the United States. He attended high school in Rockville, Maryland until completion. During high school in the U.S., he worked, was a member of the wrestling team, ran track and cross-country. His favorite subjects in school were math and American History. He joined the U.S. Army in 1985, and while in Basic Training at Fort Benning, Ga. he was mentored by a Drill Sergeant. The Drill Sergeant encouraged him to focus his goals on joining Army Special Forces. In 1990, Sar was selected for U.S. Army Special Forces. He deployed to Desert Storm with the First Infantry Division in 1990 as an Infantryman. When he returned from Desert Storm, he completed the Special Forces qualification courses and joined the Green Berets.
Throughout his 20 year Army career, he has been stationed in North Carolina, Washington State and Germany before arriving in Hawaii in September 2005. He has deployed on military exercises in Southeast Asia, Europe, Africa and South America. He also has deployed to Bosnia and Kosovo, and also deployed twice to Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan. He wears the Army Ranger and Special Forces tabs, and is a free fall military parachutist. He is Sniper and Assault qualified.
Sar earned a bachelor’s degree in American History from Campbell University in North Carolina, and currently assigned as an Operations Sergeant for Special Operations Command-Pacific at Camp Smith, Hawaii.
On Wednesday, January 3, 2006, Master Sgt. Suran Sar was awarded the nation’s third highest medal, the Silver Star, for heroism in his valiant effort to save his men during a firefight in Afghanistan.
Members of the West Pearl Harbor Rotary Club were quite moved by Master Sgt. Sar’s personal story, particularly when he mentioned that his 12-member Operational Detachment Alpha 732, spent nearly 80% of their time endeavoring to be good neighbors to the local people by providing humanitarian relief – a story of compassion not frequently mentioned in the news media. “We learned to love the people of Afghanistan, helped them build classrooms, provided medical assistance and even helped establish an infrastructure for water, sewer, and electricity,” Sar explained.
His humanitarianism did not end with the completion of his tour of duty in Afghanistan. More recently he coordinated with the U.S. State Department to obtain a grant in the amount of $75,000 for the purpose of removing landmine in his native land of Cambodia – one of the most heavily mined countries in the world where one in every 236 Cambodians have been maimed by landmine. With this funding, Master Sgt. Sar can continue to extend U.S. goodwill and save lives.
In conclusion, the West Pearl Harbor Rotary Club was pleased to have Master Sgt. Sar as their guest speaker. Through his presentation, it became apparent that the United States of America is winning the war on terrorism not only by virtue of the valor and bravery of men and women like Master Sgt. Sar, but also by virtue of their tireless effort to win the hearts and minds of people living in these budding democracies.


David said...
Thanks for continuing to tell us about people like this.
I would rather know someone like MSG Sar than the likes of Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Michael Moore...
Oh well, everyone will understand.
Thanks again.
Lisa Gilliam said...
This was such a touching story Blackfive.All of them are touching but to me this hits really hard.I remember when I was in the hospital a few years back and had a kidney transplant and there was this Vietnamese doctor who was standing in the same room as my parents.He noticed my dad's hat and realized that he was a Vietnam Vet.He thanked my father for what he did,and had it not been for guys like my dad he wouldn't have gotten a chance to attend medical school.That made me even prouder of the Vietnam Vets than I already was.Stories like this make you appreciate them even more.
JoeS said...
MSG Sar is the uncle of one of our students, he spoke to our ROTC at school during an inspection. I saw them walking home in their uniforms so I offered them a ride.
MSG Sar is a great man, confident and enthusiastic yet he did not mention his awards. I saw his "Special Forces" tab after a few minutes and told him Wow! He really loves our country.
America needs to hear more stories about the holocaust in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Liberals surrendered to communism after we had won the war. Same suspects, Bill, Hillary, John Kerry and the "Peace??" movement.
Why do they call it the peace movement? If they get their way, freedom is given over to a dictatorship, people who love freedom get slaughtered. That is not peace.
I hope all of you can meet MSG Sar, What a real American hero!!
devil dog said...
M/Sgt Sar and I were Ranger students in class 12-92. I remember that throughout the course he exemplified leadership qualities instilled only in someone who understands what is necessary to accomplish the mission. During the course he often gave pointers on cleaning and maintaining the M60's as well as becoming a liasion with the cadre. At the end of the course our battle cry was "SAR!!!". I knew I would hear about him in the future. Bravo Zulu Ranger!.

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