14 US Troops Receive Medals for Rescuing German Soldiers

German Lt. Gen. Kasdorf, ISAF Chief of Staff, pins a medal to a U.S. soldier during an awards ceremony in Kunduz

From the AP:  Fourteen U.S. service members have received Germany’s Gold Cross Medal for their bravery in extracting wounded German soldiers from a firefight in northeast Afghanistan – the first time the award has been given to troops from another nation.

The Americans, all members of the U.S. Army’s 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, received the medals – one of Germany’s highest awards for valor – on Wednesday at a German base in Kunduz province.

The U.S. crewmen were honored for risking their lives to rescue German soldiers ambushed by more than 200 Taliban fighters during a patrol April 2 near the provincial capital of Kunduz. …

"We’ve had a strong partnership with the German soldiers," said Sgt. Antonio Gattis. "These guys are like family to us, so we took it personally when they got injured and just went out there and did what we had to do. …"

"The 14 American soldiers, under tough circumstances, helped their German comrades who were caught up in heavy fighting," said German Lt. Gen. Bruno Kasdorf, chief of staff for the NATO international coalition in Afghanistan, who presented the medals.

"At the same time, it shows what it means to be part of a coalition – how important it is that we complement each other," he said. "In this case, the Americans were in the position to help and they did so without hesitation." (photo: AP)

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