After a six-hour battle, on April 6, 2008, a Special Forces Group from the 3rd Battalion had three seriously wounded members and all had been a bullet away from death. Facing machine guns and ricocheting shots off rocks, Capt. Kyle Walton led his team to victory. They were sent to a rugged valley not before penetrated by U.S. troops in northeast Afghanistan.
The mission was to kill or capture terrorists. The heroics of these men earned them, including two Texans, 10 Silver Stars. This is the most Silver Stars ever awarded in a single battle in Afghanistan. A Silver Star is the third highest award in the Army for combat valor.
"This is the story about Americans fighting side-by-side with their Afghan counterparts refusing to quit,' said Walton. "What awards come in the aftermath are not important to me."
The coordinating task force was the 201st Afghan Commando Battalion in the Shok Valley. The men were all taken by Chinook helicopters to the area and they made their way to a nearby village, the spot of hiding terrorists. A 23 year old Afghan interpreter came along, too.
During the battle, Walton verified an order for air support. F-15 fighters and Apache helicopters assisted in the attack.
All the Americans survived. The Afghan interpreter died.
From an article about this fight in the Houston Chronicle: "The raid, the soldiers say, proved there will be no safe haven in Afghanistan for terrorists. As for the medals, the soldiers see them as emblems of teamwork and brotherhood. Not valor."