The Corner

Thank You, Master Sgt. Brendan O’Connor

From the Fayetteville Observer:

Master Sgt. Brendan O’Connor on Wednesday received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army’s second-highest valor award, for his actions during a 17-hour battle in Afghanistan.

The 47-year-old Special Forces medical sergeant spoke with humor and humility after the medal was pinned on his uniform in a ceremony at Bank Hall on Fort Bragg.

“My word!” O’Connor said, reacting to praise by a three-star Army general and a four-star Navy admiral. “My name is Brendan O’Connor, and I didn’t fully approve that message.”

In his self-effacing remarks, O’Connor apologized to his children for missing birthdays and thanked his wife, Margaret, for what she has done in raising their family in his absence.

Margaret O’Connor writes a Home Front column for The Fayetteville Observer.

Master Sgt. O’Connor, who resigned his commission as an officer and then took the rigorous training to become a Special Forces medical sergeant, said his “momentary courage” pales in comparison to people who cope courageously with difficult situations daily, such as Capt. Ivan Castro, who is blind, and Harry Hubbard, a friend who suffered a stroke in his mid-30s.


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