Tuesday, May 16, 2006

She Did What She Had To Do

I love to read the soldiers' stories at the US Army website (as well as the stories on all our military websites). This one I had to share.

Spc. Maria C. Flores-Sanz earned the Army Commendation Medal with valor device after driving two Soldiers in her vehicle to safety, and then returning to the scene of a July 3 terrorist attack to help evacuate other injured Soldiers.

Flores-Sanz was part of a three-vehicle convoy traveling from Baghdad International Airport to central Baghdad, when the vehicles were attacked simultaneously by a rocket-propelled grenade shot from a rooftop and an improvised explosive device that was remote-detonated on the ground. Amidst the smoke and confusion, Flores-Sanz drove the two passengers of her vehicle to safety and later returned to the attack site to help evacuate the wounded soldiers.

"I'm not a hero, but I did what I had to do," she said.

"She was on the ball," said Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Randall, the assistant inspector general with the 1st Armor Division, who was a passenger in her vehicle July 3. "She didn't panic, she knew exactly what to do."

Shortly after the event, Flores-Sanz re-enlisted in the Army on Aug. 5. She had deployed with 1st Armored Division to Baghdad in May.

"I was nervous about going, but I was mentally prepared," she said. "I was ready to do my duty."
U.S. Army Soldier Stories
There are many heros in this war on terror and I don't know why her story is more special than any another, except that her comment really resonanted with me, "I did what I had to do." This is a comment I've made many times over the years though it never applied to a situation anywhere near as harrowing as she found herself. But it is a way of thinking and behaving that I could relate to. When a particular situation or just life in general gets rough, you just do what you have to do to get through and move on. And Spc. Maria C. Flores-Sanz did just that and more when she re-enlisted. She is an inspiration.

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