CAMP EGGERS, Afghanistan -- A U.S. Army soldier with ties to Broken Arrow was presented a Silver Star from Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday.
Gates visited two forward operating bases in eastern Afghanistan to personally thank 101st Airborne Division soldiers who have been engaged in tough fighting and to ask them to thank their families for him.
Gates recognized Staff Sergeant Brent A. Schneider during a ceremony at Forward Operating Base Joyce.
Gates noted with gratitude that the soldiers are serving in Afghanistan at a time of year that makes it particularly difficult for them to be away from their families.
The military says Schneider is a team leader with the Scout Platoon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, Task Force No Slack.
According to "Stars and Stripes," Sergeant Schneider earned the medal during Operation Strong Eagle on June 27th, 2010, an offensive to take the village of Daridam in the Ghaki Valley.
After Schneider's captain was wounded, Schneider braved accurate machine gun and sniper fire to keep running from position to position to check on his men, directed U.S. helicopter attacks on the insurgents, gave first aid to a wounded radio operator, then distributed water to his men after the team was re-supplied by helicopter. The battle lasted 18 hours that day.
Schneider lives in west Texas. His mother lives in Broken Arrow.
"We are so very proud of him, he loves being in the military and making a difference," said his mother, Lisa Wheat.
Wheat says this is his second tour in Afghanistan.