Award citations issued to the special operators who fought through an Oct. 4, 2017 ambush in Niger shed new light on the heroism that U.S. troops showed against an overwhelming force of ISIS fighters.

Army Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, Sgt. La David T. Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black and Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah W. Johnson were all killed when their convoy was ambushed by more than 100 ISIS fighters. The rest of the team narrowly survived the ISIS attack and being fired on briefly by their rescuers. Subsequent investigations have found problems with how the mission was planned and how much training special operators had before deploying to Africa.

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Army veteran Clarence Smoyer, the 'Hero of Cologne' who helped take the town of Cologne, Germany in March 1945 as tank gunner with the famous 'Eagle 7' M26 Pershing tank crew, finally received the Bronze Star nearly 75 years after his battlefield heroics.

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Air Force Staff Sgt. Aaron Metzger was awarded the Bronze Star with a valor device for his heroism during an hours-long firefight with Taliban militants that saw him overcome significant injuries from both grenade shrapnel and gunfire to save the lives of his teammates.

Air Combat Command chief Gen. Mike Holmes presented Metzger, assigned to the 38th Rescue Squadron at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia, with his Bronze Star on Monday.

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(U.S. Army photo)

The Army awarded a Bronze Star with a valor device to an artillery soldier for risking his life to save wounded personnel before obliterating enemy positions with 60mm mortar rounds during an intense engagement with ISIS fighters in Afghanistan.

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(Waynesville Police Department)

Hailed as a hero for knocking a shooter off his feet in a UNC Charlotte classroom, Riley Howell was posthumously awarded two of the military's highest honors in his hometown of Waynesville, North Carolina this week.

Howell, 21, and classmate Ellis "Reed" Parlier, 19, died when a gunman opened fire in their classroom in the Kennedy building on April 30.

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U.S. Army/Sgt. Matthew Keeler

There is no shortage of combat experience among the explosive ordnance disposal soldiers in Fort Bragg’s 28th Ordnance Company.

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