Sergeant earns Silver Star for charging into face of enemy during ambush in AfghanistanMar 19
By Sgt. Micah E. Clare, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs Office
BAMBERG, Germany -- Staff Sgt. Lincoln V. Dockery said he didn't even see the grenade that sent shrapnel into his right forearm while charging insurgent fighters in Afghanistan's Korengal valley, Nov. 16, 2007.
"Someone yelled out, and I looked up and saw it coming. My hand went up and a hot, sharp feeling went through," he said.
Dockery, a combat engineer then assigned to a route clearance patrol with Company A of the 173rd Airborne Brigade's Special Troops Battalion, said he decided the injury wasn't major, and continued his charge up a hill into enemy fire and earning a Silver Star for valor. The medal and a Purple Heart were awarded here, March 11.
"I don't want to think about what would have happened had he not been there," said Capt. William Cromie, Dockery's platoon leader that day in Afghanistan. "It would have been a completely different day. While described in the infantry field manual, and taught at every schoolhouse in our career, if asked to charge into an enemy, uphill and within hand grenade range, most people only know yes as a book answer."
Dockery said the description of the mission for which the patrol departed from Forward Operating Base Asadabad in Kunar Province that day sounded like the description of their mission for any other day: "Out looking for bombs."
"My only concern was for the guys who worked under me," the 25-year-old Runnemede, N.J., native stated.