Sgt. Joshua Hansen, struck nine times by IEDs, has received a Bronze Star for his service in Iraq, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.
A spokesman for the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed the details to Yahoo News.
“I have the greatest admiration for combat veterans," Terry Schow, executive director of the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs, told Yahoo news by telephone. "He had one of the more dangerous jobs. He took out IEDs, obviously that saves lives. He’s a very humble, self-effacing young man," Schow added.
According to the Tribune, the ninth hit to Hansen's personnel carrier was on March 15, 2007. Although wounded, he helped another injured solider who was having trouble breathing before losing consciousness.
Hansen was awarded the Bronze Star, according to the Tribune, for "'exceptionally meritorious service' during the six months in which he served as a team leader for 2nd Platoon, Company A of the U.S. Army’s 321st Engineers, a reserve unit based partly in Ogden. The unit cleared routes of bombs so troops could maneuver and bring stability to Al Anbar Province, around Ramadi and Fallujah."
The Tribune also reported that his commander, Eric Coulson, then an Army captain, in his narrative supporting the medal in 2007 had written: "By willingly traveling on the most dangerous and IED-laded routes … Sgt. Hansen saved an untold amount of lives and military equipment. ... Loyalty, honor and personal courage kept his soldiers’ motivation high and fears low."
The 42-year-old Hansen, who has a wife and two children, said his mother was the one who had pursued the medal.
"I didn’t serve this country for a medal," he said at the award ceremony, according to the Tribune. "I served this country for my boys, all the men I served with. For my mother, that wasn’t good enough."