Friday, March 23, 2007

Special Guests

On Monday night the Legislature honored a North Carolina National Guard soldier who received the Silver Star for his courage during a 2004 combat operation in Iraq. Sgt. 1st Class Chad M. Stephens was the first North Carolina guardsman since World War II, and the first African-American guardsman from North Carolina, to ever win the award, one of the nation's highest honors for bravery. Stephens was joined by his wife and son and he received long standing ovations in both chambers. Stephens, who lives in Ahoskie, received his award for actions while leading his platoon in heavy combat in Baqubah, Iraq. During the battle, he fought through two ambushes, led his platoon to a casualty collection point to help treat wounded soldiers, and ran for about 50 yards while being shot at to rescue an injured soldier.

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