MASTER SGT. JOSHUA L. WHEELER

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by mikewint, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Died on Oct. 22, 2015
    Operation Inherent Resolve

    When Kurdish commandos went on a helicopter raid to rescue about 70 hostages who were about to be executed by Islamic State militants, the plan called for the Americans who accompanied them to offer support, not join in the action, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said on Friday. But then the Kurdish attack on the prison where the hostages were held stalled, and Sergeant Wheeler responded.
    A former Delta Force officer who had commanded Sergeant Wheeler in Iraq and had been briefed on the mission said that the Kurdish fighters, known as pesh merga, tried to blast a hole in the compound’s outer wall, but could not. Sergeant Wheeler and another American, part of a team of 10 to 20 Delta Force operators who were present, ran up to the wall, breached it with explosives, and were the first ones through the hole.
    “When you blow a hole in a compound wall, all the enemy fire gets directed toward that hole, and that is where he was,” said the former officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the operation. The military does not officially acknowledge the existence of the Delta Force, the Army counterpart to Navy SEAL teams.
    Aerial reconnaissance had shown a newly dug mass grave at the prison, and the hostages were to be killed on the morning of the raid, Mr. Carter said. “That location was planned to be an execution center.”
    The mission was a success, and the hostages were freed. A few of the pesh merga fighters were injured.
    The only rescuer who died was Sergeant Wheeler, a veteran of 14 deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, with a chest full of medals. Master Sergeant Wheeler’s awards and decorations include four Bronze Star Medals with Valor Device, seven Bronze Star Medals, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor Device, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, seven Army Commendation Medals, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, As of 21 Oct., 2015 eight Army Achievement Medals, the Good Conduct Medal (6th Award), the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars, the Iraq Campaign Medal with 6 Bronze Service Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (3rd Award), the Army Service Ribbon, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Valorous Unit Award (2nd Award), the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge, and three Overseas Service Bars. Master Sergeant Wheeler was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.
     

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  2. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    rochie Well-Known Member

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    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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  9. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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  10. at6

    at6 Well-Known Member

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    A true hero. My condolences to his family. As far as the Purple heart, it should also be accompanied by a Congressional Medal of Honor.
     
  11. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    At6, Could not agree more his record is amazing: 14 deployments, 11 Bronze Stars, 4 of them with "V" device, Master Halo, Master Parachutist, Expert Marksman, and all the rest. As I posted in another thread, the very nature of SF is the secrecy involved in many operations. It prevents the "documentation" the Army requires for certain medals thus I can't help but to believe that many of those Bronze Stars should have been Silver.
    Our Pres did state that he had not personally authorized the operation...
    A WARRIOR by any standard. May he rest at peace in the arms of the Lord.
     

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