Soldier receives Silver Star for military action nearly 14 years ago
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Spc. Bryan Cyr, former company mechanic in the U. S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, never imagined that he’d be recognized with one of the military’s top awards.
Already awarded a Bronze Star for heroic actions taken in an operation in 2009, Cyr’s medal was upgraded to a Silver Star on Monday at a ceremony on Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson. The Silver Star is the U.S. military’s third-highest award for military operations involving conflict.
For Cyr, on that day nearly 14 years ago in eastern Afghanistan, he did not do anything out of the ordinary — he says he was just out there doing his mission. Cyr was part of a four-man assault force that advanced under heavy fire across an open field on a mission to recover two soldiers who drowned while attempting to recover supplies that were accidentally airdropped into a river.
“Resupplying some infantry guys because they were pinned down and we were taking heavy enemy fire,” Cyr said of the mission. “(I) bounded up as close as I could to the enemy positions and was able to dispatch a couple of enemy machine gunners and suppress others so that way we could get a Hellfire (missile) to drop into the compound.”
Cyr left his covered position three times to complete the mission, according to Maj. Gen. Tom Drew, Commanding General of the Army Human Resources Command. Drew presented Cyr with the award in front of other military officials and Cyr’s family, which now includes three children.
“It’s proven over time that anybody can do something brave once — anybody — but if you go do it again and again and again, that’s what real heroes, what real courage looks like,” Drew said. “That’s what [Cyr] did. Just on this day, he left a covered position and faced enemy fire three separate times to complete the mission. Just very humbling to be around that kind of heroism.”
It was far from the first mission that Cyr had been around, having accumulated more than four years of combat experience.
“You’ll notice that half of his operation time in the Army was in combat, that’s pretty significant, 52 months where his parents are out there, his wife is out there, not knowing exactly what’s going on. That’s a huge burden. I think we discount that,” Drew said.
Now that he has his own family, Cyr said he has a different idea of that fall day.
“My son likes playing cops and bad guys and all of a sudden he is realizing that daddy’s a hero for things that he did overseas, and he just kept coming up to me and asking me why am I a hero and if I stopped bad guys and I said, ‘Yes I did.’”
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