Wednesday, July 21, 2004

A Local Hero: Sgt. James "Gabe" Gough

The Johnson County Sun reports that Sgt. James "Gabe" Gough recently won The Bronze Star. Here's what he did:
One day after leaving a meeting with the mayor, Gough and his party came under fire from gunmen on rooftops on each side of the street.
The soldiers grabbed cover quickly, Gough said, but one of his fellows was shot twice in the calf in the middle of the street and was unable to walk.
Gough said he was going to get him, but was told to wait because enemy fire was too intense. Gough disobeyed that order, entered the street and helped his comrade walk to safety.
The bullets continued to rain down, striking the other soldier's canteen. Gough said he thought the injured man had been shot again and was afraid that he had been mortally wounded, so he was relieved to find they were soaked only with water and that his friend would survive.
Now note the modesty which is the hallmark of so many heroes:
For Gough it was the only thing to do.
"You know, when it comes down to thinking about giving your life for your friend, I don't think it takes a split second to make that decision," Gough said.
This wasn't his only time in action:
The other incident that helped earn Gough the Bronze Star occurred in Jaurfa'sukhr, a small town 45 minutes south of Baghdad.
Gough had already completed two missions that day, which had started at 3 a.m., and was assigned another late in the afternoon when a convoy had been ambushed and the another convey sent to assist them also came under attack.
After rendezvousing with the two ambushed convoys, the group was attacked a third time. The Humvee in front of Gough's was disabled by an improvised explosive device, and the convoy was forced to fight.
Gough said there was little alternative.
"You're just fighting to make it home," Gough said.
Thanks, Gabe. You've made us proud. (Note: The odd paragraph formatting is from the Sun web site.)