Thursday, May 5, 2011

CPL Jason Hovator's Award For Valor & Bravery During The Battle of Wanat, Afghanistan Upgraded to Silver Star

CPL Jason Hovater was one of many brave and valorous American Heroes who fought in the Battle of Wanat, Afghanistan on the morning of 13 July 2008. Although a tactical victory, as occurs in war, CPL Hovater was one that "lived his life for others" and was felled in the battle defending his fellow Paratroopers and his nation.

CPL Hovater was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star for Valor for his actions that day but it was recently announced that the award had been upgraded to a Silver Star, the Nation's third highest award for valor. The Silver Star will be presented to his family at a ceremony over the Memorial Day weekend.

Much incorrect information (distracting information) has been written about the Battle of Wanat, the men, and the unit. It is rewarding to many to see the story be told of camaraderie, sacrifice, and valor that characterized those great men and that great unit.

CPL Hovater was a rifleman with Chosen Company of the 173rd, 2-503rd ABCT

Details of the event are:
Date:  28 May 2011
Time:  10:00 AM
Place:  World's Fair Park, Knoxville, TN.

Corporal Hovater's Silver Star Citation reads as follows:

"The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, 9 July 1918 (amended by act of 25 July 1963), has awarded the SILVER STAR to CORPORAL JASON HOVATER, 173D AIRBORNE COMBAT TEAM. For Gallantry: in action on 13 July 2008 at Wanat, Afghanistan while assigned as a Rifleman with Company C, 2d Battalion, 503d Infantry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade Combat Team in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Corporal Hovater volunteered to reinforce an isolated platoon observation post and moved with his platoon leader to that position while under heavy direct fire from insurgent forces in nearby buildings. After arriving at the observation post, Corporal Hovater engaged the enemy with his personal weapon while also assisting in the emplacement of a mounted weapon. Corporal Hovater's actions ensured that the position was defended from enemy fire and helped prevent it from being overtaken by enemy forces. Corporal Hovater demonstrated courage and unparalleled dedication in the face of imminent and mortal danger. Corporal Hovater's actions reflect distinct credit upon himself, the 173d Airborne Brigade Combat Team and the United States Army."

Please take the time to read more about CPL Hovater here and here.

The other eight American Heroes who died that fateful day were:

1LT Jonathan Brostrom
SGT Israel Garcia
CPL Jonathan Ayers
CPL Jason Bogar
CPL Matthew Phillips
CPL Pruitt Rainey
CPL Gunnar Zwilling
PFC Sergio Abad

You can read much more about all of these men here.  Pleaes take a few minutes to read, remember and honor them.

May God rest their souls and continue to give comfort to their families, brothers in arms and friends.

I've had the honor of listening to stories told by many of the men who served with CPL Hovater and the other Heroes listed above.  All were stories told with so much love.  The stories were about the honor and valor of those men.  And there were comical stories, too.  I am thrilled for the Hovater family and for the Chosen Few that so many of them will be able to attend this ceremony.  I know there will be many laughs, tears and hugs.  What a fitting tribute during the Memorial Day weekend.

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