Secretary Clinton Singles Out ‘Heroism’ in Afghanistan

By Sadie Bass

Nov 18, 2009 2:59pm

ABC's Chief Foreign Correspondent Martha Raddatz reports from Kabul, Afghanistan: It takes a lot longer to get to this war than the other one. The layovers and the plane changes add up to about twenty-four hours of travel. I had Iraq down to about fifteen.   But once you get here, so much seems the same. The chaos in the streets, the dust, and the weary, yet determined American soldiers who stand out so starkly from the local security forces. The media is the same as well. The well-known faces from that other war have descended on this one. They come with combat experience that prepares them well for this terrain.  I was thinking about all of this tonight listening to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton give a pep talk to embassy employees in Kabul.  I had heard similar speeches in Baghdad.  She thanked them for their service, but then she singled out one name. When she said "Matt Sherman" I leapt up from the step where I had perched myself. Matt was supposed to have taken me to Logar province today where he serves as political advisor to Task Force Spartan, Third Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. Late last night, shortly after I arrived in Kabul, he emailed me to let me know he had to cancel because he had to go with his brigade commander, Colonel David Haight to "some reception" at the embassy. So there he was in the back of the room having no idea why he was there. He soon found out: Heroism. This Is how Secretary Clinton described it: "Last May, Matt Sherman was on a mission with military colleagues when the lead convoy vehicle struck an IED and flipped.  Matt raced from the safety of his vehicle to assist the wounded soldiers.  In recognition of his courageous and selfless actions, the troops of Task Force Spartan, Third Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, from my home state of New York, nominated him for the Department of State Award for Heroism.  Matt, I am honored to tell you that we have approved this award in appreciation for your outstanding service." Matt, who is modest and unassuming looked embarrassed, yet so proud. I know that look of his. Matt spent the better part of three years in Iraq, doing the same hard work he is doing here, under the same dangerous conditions. The war zone may have changed. Matt and many like him have not.

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