From Liisa, SMSgt Temple’s wife: Here is a link to the first video via Blackberry from SPC Kit Lowe’s Bronze Star Ceremony earlier today in Washington, D.C. (Video courtesy of WSAV-TV in Savannah)
This second link is to the much longer in-depth television story that aired later in the day:
This third link is to a story about the status of Kit’s medical recovery and his future plans:
Guardsman earns bronze star with ‘V’ device
By Craig Coleman
Walter Reed Public Affairs
WASHINGTON — A Soldier being treated at Walter Reed for wounds sustained in Afghanistan received the Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device during a ceremony here in Doss Memorial Hall Feb. 26.
Spc. Christopher M. “Kit” Lowe, a forward observer with the 1-108th Cavalry Regiment, received the award for actions he took during combat operations in the Alasai Valley, Afghanistan.
Lowe, a six-year veteran of the Georgia National Guard, was on a combat mission with the 48th Battle Training Brigade when he heard gunfire on the roof of the building he was searching. Lowe knew then Marine Capt. Matthew Freeman, whom he considered a friend, and the unit’s medic were on that roof and in trouble. Lowe scrambled up a ladder to the roof and saw Freeman had been hit, with bullets still incoming.
“My friend was shot and I needed to get to him,” Lowe recalled.
Lowe crawled across the roof to the spot where Freeman was lying, bleeding and unresponsive. “I went to go get him, and I got hit,” Lowe said.
As Lowe was pulling the medic to the ground, Lowe was hit by machine gun fire in the upper right thigh.
“It ruined a perfectly good uniform,” Lowe quipped. “It was surreal. I never thought I was going to die, even after I was shot. I didn’t realize the extent of my wounds. I thought I’d be back at work the next day.”
With shots still incoming, Lowe scanned the area. “When you come under fire you want to know where it’s coming from,” Lowe said. “What I was trying to do was find out where [the enemy fire] was coming from so I could fire on the position.”
He discovered the enemy was shooting from a house built into the side of a mountain, so that indirect fire would be ineffective. “You can land mortars on it, but all you’d be doing is beating up a mountain,” Lowe said. “You have to hit the house.”
Although injured, Lowe returned fire until reinforcements arrived in a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicle to neutralize the target.
“I really hate public speaking,” Lowe told the audience assembled to witness his award. “But I’d better get used to it if I want to be president.”
Lowe said of Freeman, the Marine who died, “He was my friend. I wish they didn’t have to give his Purple Heart posthumously. I did what I was supposed to do. I did what I was trained to do. It reflects well on the Georgia National Guard.”
“My main concern was Capt. Freeman,” Lowe said. “Capt. Freeman was killed, and I needed to get him and the medic with him off [the roof].”
Col. Stephen Joyce, commander of the 48th Battle Training Brigade at the time of Lowe’s actions, said his behavior was exemplary. “It’s everything that’s right about America, and everything that’s right about the Army.”
First Lt. Matt Smith, a member of the unit who earlier received the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat two months before Lowe’s actions, presented the Bronze Star with “V” Device to Lowe.
“I was intensely proud of him and all the other Soldiers involved,” Smith said. “Cavalry have a reputation as above average Soldiers, and his actions exemplified that.”
Lowe’s thoughts still remain with his fallen comrade. “The only thing I can say is that I’m sorry. He meant the world to me in the short time I knew him and I wish there was more I could do for him.”
Here is the text of the Citation as it appears on the award:
THE BRONZE STAR MEDAL
WITH ‘V’ DEVICE
Specialist Christopher M. Lowe
1-108th Cavalry Regiment
For valorous and meritorious actions wile engaged in direct combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on 7 August 2009.
Specialist Lowe’s courage and selfless dedication in a combat zone, under the most extreme of circumstances, greatly contributed to the fight against the War on Terrorism. Specialist Lowe’s actions reflect great credit upon himself, Task Force Phoenix, Combined Joint Task Force-82 and the United States Central Command.
Citation that was read during the ceremony:
For gallantry and acts of heroism while performing combat advisory duties under enemy fire in the Shpee Valley, Kapisa Province (Regional Command-East) during Operation Brest Thunder. Spec Lowe demonstrated unwavering courage, exemplary professional skill, and daring initiative in the face of heavy enemy fire. His actions led to a life saving medical evacuation and another medical evacuation ensuring a fallen warrior’s remains did not fall into the hands of the enemy. His actions allowed supporting forces to locate and destroy over 20 enemy fighters including a senior Taliban commander. These acts of heroism and disregard for his own personal safety reflect great credit upon himself, the 1st squadron, 108th cavalry, and the United States Army.
Filed under: Missions Tagged: | 108th Cavalry Regiment, 48th Battle Training Brigade, Afghanistan, Alasai Valley, Bronze Star, GA National Guard, Kapisa Province, Marine Capt Matthew Freeman, news, SPC Christopher "Kit" Santiago Lowe, Valor, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, wounded, WRAMC