Two Fort Bliss Soldiers Hailed as Heroes for Their Courage Under Fire in Afghanistan
There are heroes among us, and yesterday, two of them were honored for their service under fire.
21-year-old Spc. Robert Gillespie, 20-year-old Pfc. Nile Clarke, were each given the Army Commendation Medal with Valor Device during a ceremony at Fort Bliss on Wednesday. Spc. Gillespie and Pfc. Clarke's unit was ambushed in Afghanistan on March 13th of last year. They both exposed themselves to enemy fire, returned fire, and their actions gave a six-vehicle convoy they were riding in time to free itself up. No American soldiers were killed or wounded in the incident.
Pfc. Clarke said, "We weren't doing anything anybody else wouldn't do." He went on to say, "We are all trained soldiers. I'm pretty humble about it. I didn't expect this (award) to happen." Spc. Gillespie said, "We would have felt really bad if we didn't do anything and one of our guys got hit."
Just a couple of heroes doing heroic things, like anyone else would. Oh, sure! These guys are Captain America!
The Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, was visiting Fort Bliss for the day, and he is the one who pinned the medals on Pfc. Clarke and Spc. Gillespie. Gen. Odierno said, "They care about the mission, they care about each other, about who they are and what they represent." He also praised Pfc. Clarke and Spc. Gillespie for saving countless lives by their actions.
Pfc. Clarke and Spc. Gillespie, we thank you for your heroic actions! May God bless and keep you and all your fellow troops safe.