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3rd ID soldier earns Bronze Star

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POSTED: December 13, 2007 5:02 a.m.
Submitted

Soldiers in the 1-30 infantry battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, took time last week to thank a fellow soldier for actions performed in the line of fire.
Sgt. Michael Trump, from Terre Haute, Ind., was awarded the Bronze Star for valor in a ceremony at Patrol Base Murray.
Trump’s acts occurred during what started as a routine combat patrol that turned into anything but typical.
On July 24, a squad of Company A Bradley fighting vehicles was conducting reconnaissance operations in Maderiyah, hunting for terrorists and insurgent resources.
Pfc. John Elliot, the driver for the lead vehicle, pulled his Bradley up to a fork in the road.
“I knew there was an improvised explosive device on the right, so I turned left,” Elliot, from Bloomington, Minn., recalled.
Unfortunately, he was in a no-win situation, and his vehicle rolled over an IED.
The next thing Elliot remembered was feeling the wind sucked out of him and not being able to feel his right leg below the knee.
While Elliot lay in pain, his fellow teammates, including Trump and Staff Sgt. Mountain Robicheau, took action.
Robicheau directed vehicle recovery operations and Trump ran up to the hatch and pulled Elliot from his position.
In addition to keeping his wits and combat skills about him, Trump also managed to keep his sense of humor.
“The first thing he said to me was ‘you got yourself 35 promotion points’ (for a Purple Heart),” Elliot said.
Trump pulled Elliot from the driver seat and to a safer location, and began basic first aid on his wounds — a six-inch laceration on his foot, a broken heel and multiple sprains in his ankle. While he worked on Elliot, the rest of the Bradley team worked to maneuver a second Bradley to recover the downed vehicle. Leading the efforts was Robicheau, a Whitneyville, Maine, native.
As the second vehicle moved into place, things turned even more chaotic. Like the vehicle it was attempting to recover, the second Bradley set off another IED. The blast, which injured several soldiers in the Bradley, threw Robicheau 10 feet in the air, causing him to land hard on the ground.
Robicheau was unable to walk due to injuries  that included torn ligaments in his ankle and a broken nose.
Trump was outside the blast area treating Elliot, but immediately set to work rescuing the latest casualties.
He began evacuating soldiers trapped in the second Bradley, pulling two of the more seriously wounded out to safety.
Overall, nine soldiers were injured. Two were evacuated to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., four were ground evacuated to combat support hospitals in Iraq, and the other three were treated by medics and doctors.
Had it not been for the actions of Trump, the incident could have been much worse, Elliot and Robicheau agreed.
“He definitely went above what he had to do,” Elliot said.
Trump doesn’t see himself as different than the rest of his team. He said he feels that any of his fellow 2nd BCT, 3rd ID soldiers, with whom he serves would be willing to step up and deliver help if needed.
Trump, who has since been moved from a gunner's position to a team leader in 2nd platoon, said he hopes his example inspires his own soldiers whom he now leads.
 

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