The Patriot Post® · Profiles of Valor: U.S. Army Sgt. Frederick Rowell
Sergeant First Class Frederick Rowell of the United States Army served two tours in Iraq and displayed bravery above and beyond the call of duty during both. In April 2003, during the initial assault on Baghdad, his unit was attacked and fell back to their Bradley vehicle for cover. Another squad, however, was not as fortunate. They were pinned under heavy fire with little cover, no leadership and a wounded soldier.
Rowell ran across the open terrain while under fire himself. Once he reached the other soldiers, he supplied cover fire and treated the wounded private. As the enemy fire intensified, Rowell threw himself onto the private to protect him and took an AK-47 round in his back. Fortunately, his armor protected him from serious injury. As help arrived, he lifted the private onto his back and ran 100 meters to the evacuation vehicle. For his bravery and self-sacrifice, he earned the Silver Star.
Sgt. Rowell was not finished, however. In September 2007, he was leading a scouting mission in Baghdad when his men, who were split into two observation posts in separate buildings, came under fire from multiple directions. Rowell decided to gather all his men at a single post, but one of his soldiers was severely wounded by an IED just outside the door.
Rowell himself was knocked unconscious by the blast. When he came to, Rowell grabbed his fellow soldier, pulled him to safety and continued to defend him. Soon, a group of Stryker combat vehicles arrived, and Rowell worked to evacuate everyone. Despite his own wound – later diagnosed as traumatic brain injury – he manned the roof gun on the Stryker during the evacuation. For his efforts and courage he was awarded the Bronze Star with combat “V” for valor.
(This account was originally published in the Aug. 22, 2008 Digest.)