By Sgt. Ricardo J. Branch, 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs OfficeMarch 12, 2010
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (March 10, 2010) -Soldiers of the 130th Engineer Brigade gathered to pay tribute and honor one of their own during a Silver Star Award ceremony March 10 here.
Sgt. Scott D. Brooks, 82nd Engineer Support Company, 65th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Bde., was awarded the Silver Star award for his actions during Operation Iraqi Freedom. On June 25, 2007, while serving as a heavy equipment operator for the 618th Engineer Company, 82nd Airborne Division, Brooks was involved a fire-fight when insurgents detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, blowing a large hole in the perimeter wall at Forward Operating Base Summerall, Iraq.
While the enemy was seizing the initiative, Brooks took well aimed shots to stop the flow of insurgents attempting to enter the breach before sprinting to a bulldozer and moving debris and scrap metal as a stop-gap in to the wall.
"I was working a dozer to push debris into a breach created by a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED)," Brooks said. "There were people, Soldiers and Iraqis, lying about injured in harm\'s way and another VBIED could come through the breach at anytime while I was busy moving things to block the hole."
The 25-year-old, Middleville, Mich., native woke up that morning ready to perform his duties while deployed downrange during the 15-month military buildup to bring about change in Iraq. He never imagined, however, that he'd be helping save lives that morning.
"I had no idea I'd be involved in something like that," he said. "I was just doing what I had to do because people were hurt. You never ask to be involved in something like that but when it happens, you just do what you have to do."
During the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Michael J. Terry, commanding general, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, hailed Brooks as a hero.
"These days we use the term hero too loosely," Terry said. "Every time something goes on we describe someone as a hero; however, there's no doubt that from the actions Brooks took in June of 2007, the only fitting definition is hero."
Terry went on to speak to the Soldiers witnessing the momentous occasion.
"Those of us who have been there often have to look deep down within ourselves and consider how we would react to a given situation, and there's no doubt that Brooks performed heroically," he said. "Sgt. Brooks came into our Army in 2004; he's part of the 9-11 generation, and you all here are that generation - the next greatest generation."
Also present for the occasion were close members of Brooks' immediate family: his wife Kristen, three children, Aiden, age 10, Conlan, 2, and Nolan, 1, as well as his father, Robert, brother, James, and cousin, Sue.
Although his family always knew their father, brother, and son was a hero, it was his wife, Kristen, who put it best, "You all call him a hero for that day, but I call him a hero every day."
Brooks enters the ranks of heroes awarded the Silver Star such as Gen. Douglas McArthur, Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester, and Vice Adm. James Stockdale. The Silver Star is the third highest military award given for valor in combat to any member of any branch of the armed forces.
"I'm really speechless, I have no words today to describe what this all means," Brooks said. "I'm really blessed thinking back because I must have had someone watching out for me that day."