The Patriot Post® · Profiles of Valor: Tennessee Army National Guard

Tennessee Army National Guard 1st Lt. David Tiedeman and Sgt. Robert Betterton saved lives in the midst of a fierce battle in April 2005. Their 12-soldier team, accompanied by two Iraqi companies, was conducting a search for stolen weapons when insurgents ambushed the Americans and Iraqis with mortars, machine guns, RPGs and small-arms fire.

Tiedeman led his team to an area from which they could mount a counter attack. After two soldiers were hit by enemy fire, Tiedeman risked his life to administer aid, stopping to return fire twice. Betterton, who had been shot eight times in the hand, stomach and leg, took out an RPG gunner and a sniper targeting Tiedeman. Tiedeman once again exposed himself to enemy fire to run to the aid of Betterton, and, after killing several jihadis with a grenade, carried him to safety.

In all, 17 terrorists met their end that day, essentially eliminating a training camp that had plagued central Iraq. For their heroism, Tiedeman was awarded the Silver Star, while Betterton received the Bronze Star with combat ā€œVā€ for valor.

(This account was originally published in the Sept. 7, 2007 Digest.