Texas Woman Humbled At Being Silver Star Recipient

A 19-year-old medic from Lake Jackson becomes the second female soldier since World War II to receive the Silver Star, the nation's third highest medal for valor. Houston Public Radio's Pat Hernandez reports.

Army Spc. Monica Lin Brown saved the lives of fellow soldiers after a roadside bomb tore through a convoy of HumVees in Eastern Afgthanistan last April. The military said after the explosion, which wounded five soldiers in her unit, The Lake Jackson medic ran through insurgent gunfire and used her body to shield wounded comrades as mortars fell less than a hundred yards away. Brown becomes the first woman Afghanistan to earn the award.

"I'm very proud of my granddaughter...that is totally an understatement."

The notoriety has meant a new way of life for friends and relatives, espcially grandmother Katy Brown. Non-stop media requests means she constantly recharging her cell phone. She says she wasn't surprised by the actions of her grand daughter.

"I was just proud that she was going to be recognized for what she had done, although she didn't think it was exceptional...she just thought she was doing her job that she'd been trained to do."

The medal, rare for any soldier, underscores the growing role of combat of U.S. female troops, even if that's not their nature.

"Very very humble, just down to earth...just down to earth young woman."

Mary Moreno is founder of MILITARY MOMS AND WIVES of Brazoria County.

"After the incident happened, I had the opportunity to meet Monica Brown and we were getting ready to do care packages to send out to IRAQ and we were working on about 2,000 boxes and she got down and she says 'where can I help? what can I do? And just by her voice you could see the sincerity that she had. and telling us over and over and over...thank you. Thank you for doing this."

Katy Brown said her granddaughter told her she didn't have time to be scared.

"She wasn't even thinking about the dangers. She was just thinking about saving her comrades. They had become personal friends of hers. She was in charge of their safety."     

She says all the attention will not distract her from the reason she and her brother joined the military in the first place.

"The ARMY is going to allow her to go to college for the next four years. And then, when she gets out of college she'll go back in and finish her tour and go in as an officer."

Whether she returns to the place where heroes are made is not certain, but Mary Moreno says Brown serves as an inspiration.

"We have alot of wonderful young women of all races out there and they all work together with the men and women to make our military the success that that it is."                    

Army Specialist Monica Lin Brown is scheduled to receive the Silver Star later this month.

Pat Hernandez, Houston Public Radio News.

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...