Benning soldiers awarded for bravery in combat

Two Fort Benning soldiers were awarded Silver Stars and another received a Bronze Star in a ceremony held this morning at the Airborne Memorial on post.

For their gallantry in action during the Battle of Wanat, Afghanistan, on July 13, 2008, Capt. Matthew R. Myer and Spc. Michael T. Denton were given Silver Stars while Sgt. 1st Class David L. Dzwik was awarded a Bronze Star with “V” device.

"I'm excited and a little bit sad because of the guys that can't be here," Dzwik said. "But that's also why this is important. It's not in my opinion, it's not for me. It's for my men. They fought very hard that day. They fought for each other and I'm just glad to be here to represent them."

Myer, Denton and Dzwik were members of Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team during the Battle of Wanat. Nine soldiers from their company were killed in action that day and 27 more were wounded.

During Chosen Company’s 15-month deployment to the Kunar and Nuristan provinces of Afghanistan, 16 of their soldiers were killed in action and 50 were wounded.

Prior to the ceremony, Denton was promoted to sergeant.

At a separate ceremony held Sunday at Shiloh High School in Snellville, Ga., the family of Cpl. Jonathan R. Ayers was presented a Silver Star for his actions during the Battle of Wanat. Ayers' honor was presented posthumously.

The Silver Star is awarded for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States and is presented to servicemembers who distinguish themselves by extraordinary heroism. It is the third highest award presented for valor.

The 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team is based in Vicenza, Italy.

Please read tomorrow's Ledger-Enquirer or visit www.ledger-enquirer.com for more on this story including pictures from the event.