Arbor Vitae soldier to be given Silver Star - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Arbor Vitae soldier to be given Silver Star

CAMP DOUGLAS (WAOW) - The first Wisconsin National Guard soldier to be awarded a Silver Star for bravery in combat since World War II says he only did what he was supposed to do to earn the medal.

First Sgt. Gregory Fulton, 39, of Arbor Vitae will receive the honor -- the third highest military decoration that's awarded for gallantry against an enemy -- during a ceremony Friday at Volk Field in Camp Douglas.

Fulton said Thursday he doesn't know how he will react to being the center of this kind of military attention.

"I don't really talk too much about it because there is really no need," he said in a telephone interview from his Arbor Vitae home. "For a soldier, airman or Marine, it is really nothing to brag about. Service is the important thing. I place more pride in the service."

Fulton is being honored for his actions in 2009 in Afghanistan as he helped members of the Afghan National Army clear a building filled with insurgents.

During the five-hour engagement, Fulton had multiple close-quarters fire fights, firing some 45 rounds in the battle as he led an assault team of about 12 soldiers, he said.

"We were combat engineers," he said. "Typically, we would not do this type of assault, but as far as the Army goes everybody is trained to fight infantry if the time comes and the time came."

No Americans were killed or wounded in the fighting, he said. Five Taliban fighters died, he said.

The citation awarding Fulton the medal reads: "His heroic actions in the face of the enemy were essential to the overwhelming success of the mission and saved soldiers' lives."

Capt. Joy Staab, spokeswoman for the state Department of Military Affairs, said the Silver Star being awarded to Fulton is the highest medal given to a Wisconsin Natural Guard member since World War II.

Fulton, who belongs to 951st Engineer Company out of Rhinelander, said he is honored to receive the medal.

"Basically, I did what NCOs (non-commissioned officers) are supposed to do and lead by example and don't ask others to do what you wouldn't do yourself," the soldier said.

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CAMP DOUGLAS, Wis. (AP) - A soldier from far northern Wisconsin will become the first member of the state's Army National Guard to win a Silver Star Medal.

Other soldiers from Wisconsin have won one, but 1st Sgt. Gregory Fulton of Arbor Vitae is the first member of the National Guard to win it.

Fulton will receive his medal during a formal ceremony Friday at Volk Field in Camp Douglas.

He's being honored for his actions in 2009 when he helped members of the Afghan National Army clear a building filled with insurgents.

The Silver Star Medal is the third-highest military decoration for valor that can be awarded to a member of the U.S military. It's awarded for gallantry in action against an enemy of the U.S.

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