COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Fort Carson officials say a sergeant who intercepted one suicide bomber in Afghanistan will receive the Silver Star, the Army's third-highest medal for combat valor.
Sgt. Andrew Mahoney with the 4th Infantry Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team will receive the award Monday. Mahoney tells The Gazette the award is bittersweet.
"It’s hard to put a positive spin on something because I know that four people had to lose their life, basically, for me to get this," Mahoney told the paper.
On Aug. 8, the brigade's top commander, Col. James Mingus, and other top leaders were walking to an Afghan provincial building.
A suicide bomber had moved toward Mingus when Mahoney and Capt. Florent Groberg threw him to the ground seconds before his vest exploded.
Mingus survived, suffering only a concussion. Mahoney and Groberg suffered shrapnel wounds throughout their body.
A second suicide bomber struck from a different direction, killing the brigade's top enlisted soldier and two officers, as well as a state department employee. The victims were identified as command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Griffin of Laramie, Wyo.; Maj. Thomas Kennedy; and Air Force Maj. Walter Gray. USAID foreign service officer Ragaei Abdelfattah also was killed.