Beaver County soldier's valor marked with Silver Star medal
Tech. Sgt. Mike Sears will be honored for his heroic actions in Afghanistan with the Silver Star Medal next week, but he considers his actions just part of the job.
“This is normal, routine stuff we've done in Afghanistan,” said Sears, 37, of Brighton in Beaver County. “So I didn't expect any award out of it. You just do your job. You don't feel that you need to be recognized for it.”
Sears will receive the award, the third highest honor for valor in combat, at the 177th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard based in New Jersey on June 28.
While deployed in Afghanistan with the Air National Guard, Sears worked as part of a three-man explosive operations team.
On a combat mission in 2012, he risked his life to save and protect a wounded Polish soldier and a medic. Sears suffered injuries to his left arm and a traumatic brain injury, but he remained in Afghanistan to finish his deployment.
In addition to the award being a “great personal honor,” Sears said it represents the accomplishments of his team.
“For one of us to receive a Silver Star,” he said, “it's a great honor for the career field.”
Josh Jerden, a member of Sears' three-man team, said the battle was terrifying.
“He put his life on the line to pretty much get what needed to be done for our Polish friend, who was missing most of his leg,” said Jerden, 28, of Knightsville, Fla. “I think he absolutely deserves it.”
The medal is presented to few soldiers, said Steve Monteleone, president of the veterans group It's About the Warrior Foundation. Monteleone said the selection process — nomination by a unit commander and a Pentagon review — is long and difficult.
“Mike is a great guy and a great soldier,” he said. “Nobody deserves it more, after what he went through.”
Megan Henney is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7987 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.