Ohio soldier to be awarded Silver Star Medal

Posted by Lisa Strawbridge - email

COLUMBUS, OH - Sgt. 1st Class Mark A. Wanner will receive the Silver Star Medal, the nation's third-highest medal for valor, during a Feb. 6 ceremony in the Ohio Statehouse atrium presented by Governor Strickland. Wanner is the first Ohio National Guard member to receive the medal since the Korean War.

Wanner is a Special Forces medical sergeant with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne). He'll receive the medal for his actions on May 31, 2009, during an engagement with Taliban forces in Eastern Afghanistan.

Wanner is credited with saving the life of a fellow Green Beret during a joint raid on a Taliban compound. After noticing his teammate was wounded and lying near an enemy position, Wanner crossed open terrain to move him to safety. When his teammate collapsed due to the severity of his wounds, Wanner remained in an exposed position to render life-saving medical aid while using his own body to shield his wounded comrade as small arms fire impacted all around him. He continued to work on his teammate while coordinating suppressing fire until he could carry his fellow Soldier to safety.

Wanner's unit is based in Columbus. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati.

Throughout the eight years of the Global War on Terrorism, only 23 National Guard members have been awarded the Silver Star Medal. Five were awarded posthumously.

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