UNSUNG HEROES: The Army Paratrooper With A Silver Star And 3 Purple Hearts

U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Alex Licea

The central Iraqi city of Samarra was subject some of the fiercest fighting of the war, and Brennan Goltry has the scars to prove it.

In February 2007, the then-Army captain assigned 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment was on a routine mounted patrol in Samarra when he fell into an L-shaped ambush at the hands of the enemy, according to a U.S. military report.

Legendary war correspondent Sebastian Junger once described an L-shaped ambush thusly, “Correctly done, a handful of men can wipe out an entire platoon.”

As Goltry’s five armored humvees progressed south in Samarra under the cover of darkness, they fell right into such an ambush. They took heavy sniper and heavy automatic fire, and their lead vehicle was immediately incapacitated. Goltry dispatched of several insurgents and evacuated his men. He was shot twice in the firefight.

Despite his wounds, he continued to engage the insurgents and evacuated his men from the kill zone via foot.

For his actions that February day, six months later, Goltry was awarded the Silver Star medal, the nation’s third highest award for valor, as well as a Purple Heart medal, given the nature of his wounds.

"I'm real proud of my men," Goltry said at the time. "They fight real hard for me, and they've saved my ass more than once.”

Goltry was also nominated for a Purple Heart medal for wounds received in May 2007 in Iraq. That would make three Purple Hearts for Goltry.

Brian Adam Jones is editor-in-chief of Task & Purpose. A U.S. Marine and Afghanistan veteran, Brian served as a combat journalist in the Marine Corps from 2009-2013. He lives in Harlem and studies political science at Columbia University. Follow him on Twitter @bjones.


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid $13,000 over a three-month period for a senior official's biweekly commute to Washington from his home in California, according to expense reports obtained by ProPublica.

Read More Show Less
Saturday Night Live/screenshot

President Donald Trump said that "retribution" should be "looked into" after this week's opening skit of Saturday Night Live featured Alec Baldwin being mean to him again.

Read More Show Less
Staff Sgt. John Eller conducts pre-flights check on his C-17 Globemaster III Jan. 3 prior to taking off from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii for a local area training mission. Sgt. Eller is a loadmaster from the 535th Airlift Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo)

CUCUTA, Colombia — The Trump administration ratcheted up pressure Saturday on beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, dispatching U.S. military planes filled with humanitarian aid to this city on the Venezuelan border.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.

President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval.

Read More Show Less
A pair of U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron VF-211 Fighting Checkmates in flight over Iraq in 2003/Department of Defense

Since the sequel to the 1986 action flick (and wildly successful Navy recruitment tool) Top Gun, was announced, there's been a lot of speculation on what Top Gun: Maverick will be about when it premieres in June 2020. While the plot is still relatively unclear, we know Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Naval aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and he'll be joined by a recognizable costar: The iconic F-14 Tomcat.

It looks like the old war plane will be coming out of retirement for more than just a cameo. A number of recently surfaced photos show an F-14 Tomcat aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, alongside Cruise and members of the film's production crew, the Drive's Tyler Rogoway first reported earlier this week.

Read More Show Less