Ky. Guardsman receives Silver Star

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Associated Press

Posted on February 11, 2013 at 4:01 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky National Guardsman has received a Silver Star for his courageous actions during a battle in Afghanistan.

The Courier-Journal (http://cjky.it/14NCzv7) reports Capt. Shannon Ison, a Lexington firefighter, received the military's third-highest award Sunday in a ceremony at the Galt House Hotel.

According to the official account, Ison was on patrol with the 206th Engineer Battalion in 2008 searching out improvised explosive devices when one exploded injuring four soldiers. He left the cover of his vehicle, with gunfire blasting around them, to help the wounded soldiers, and then continued to lead and direct his troops.

Capt. Steve Martin, a spokesman with the Kentucky National Guard, says Ison's response "saved lives."

He received the Silver Star from Maj. Gen. Ed Tonini, Kentucky's adjutant general, who pinned it to Ison's fatigues In front of his wife, two children and 1,200 soldiers. It was the fourth Silver Star awarded to a Kentucky Guardsmen since 2001.

Ison's commanding officer when the attack occurred, Col. Mike Ferguson, called his actions heroic and said they went beyond what is called for.

Ison disagreed.

"I didn't think I deserved (the Silver Star)," said Ison. "I was just doing my job."

His wife, Deborah Ison said her husband doesn't talk to his family much about the battle and she didn't know all the details until reading the official account, which made her proud and angry.

She said she is proud of him for saving lives, but a little angry "because I could have lost him."

"Before he left I told him, 'Don't be a hero, because you're already a hero to me, Allyson and Ben,' " she said.

Even if he doesn't see himself as a hero, others do including his son.

"To me he's the best father in the world," 11-year-old Ben Ison said, adding "probably one of the best soldiers in the world."

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com

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