The Patriot Post® · Profiles of Valor: CAPT Kent Solheim (USA)

By Mark Alexander ·

In July 2007, United States Army Captain Kent Solheim was participating in Operation VOLCANO II, which aimed to capture a senior leader of the Mahdi Army, a Shiite militia in Karbala, Iraq. Solheim and his team fast-roped from helicopters into the objective area, setting up a position near the target building, but they soon came under fire from three sides with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades.

Combat air support was called in to take out the enemy, but some jihadis remained on the attack. Amidst the fighting, Solheim saw an insurgent with an RPG about 10 meters away. He charged and shot and killed the enemy fighter, saving several of his comrades. He then exposed himself to enemy fire in order to cover other soldiers and was able to provide suppressive fire.

Rounding a corner of a building, Solheim came face to face with a Mahdi fighter armed with an AK. Solheim instantly fired, killing the insurgent, but not before he was hit with the jihadi’s final burst of fire. He was wounded in the legs and back and was treated and survived. For his actions, he was awarded the Silver Star.

(This account was originally published in the June 27, 2008 Digest.)

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