2 Fort Lewis soldiers earn Silver Star

Two more Fort Lewis soldiers will be awarded the Silver Star today for acts last year during a 15-month deployment to Iraq.

That brings to at least 10 the number of soldiers assigned to 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team) who have received the nation's third-highest award for combat valor.

The nearly 4,000 soldiers assigned to the brigade returned home in late September.

The soldiers receiving the award today are Staff Sgt. Jon Hilliard and Sgt. 1st Class Ismael Iban.

According to a Fort Lewis news release:


will be recognized for actions after a bomb blew up his Stryker in March during a patrol in Baqouba. After being thrown from the vehicle and suffering multiple injuries to his left leg, Hilliard exposed himself to enemy fire to retrieve a machine gun from the wreckage, according to the news release. Hilliard held off the enemy assault, enabling other wounded soldiers to be evacuated.


will be honored for his actions Feb. 19, when a joint security station was attacked by a suicide bomber. Responding to a call for help, Iban and soldiers he led faced attacks using small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, according to the news release.

A platoon of a dozen soldiers was able to fend off the attack on the station and establish a helicopter landing zone that led to the evacuation of nearly two dozen soldiers injured in the attack, according to the release.

An unidentified soldier assigned to the brigade has been nominated for the Distinguished Service Cross, the military's second-highest award for combat valor. The nomination is pending.