This is Monica Lin Brown from Lake Jackson, Texas. Monica is a United States Army medic who became the first woman during the war in Afghanistan and only the second woman since World War II to receive the Silver Star, the United States’ third-highest medal for valor.
In April 2007, after a roadside bomb detonated near a convoy of Humvees in the eastern Paktia Province of Afghanistan, Monica saved the lives of fellow soldiers by running through insurgent gunfire to reach the wounded and then using her body to shield them while mortar rounds fell nearby. Because women are not formally allowed to participate directly in combat, Brown was pulled back to the base at Khost shortly after the incident. She was awarded the Silver Star in 2008. She was 20 years old.
You know, I’m one of those old farts who is guilty of thinking that young people today are taking the world in directions that I don’t necessarily think it should be going. But then I read stories like Monica’s and realize I just need to relax and shut up. Every generation thinks the same things about the next generation but, somehow, the earth keeps spinning.