Acts of Kindness
American Staff Sgt. awarded German medal of honor after his heroic actions
He received the German Medal of Honor for Gallantry in Action. Needless to say, it was hard-earned.
Elijah Chan
05.05.22

“For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.”

This famous line in Shakespeare’s Henry V has been quoted a lot of times and for good reason.

People can come from different places or speak different languages, but when they fight alongside each other, those differences dissolve.

Such is the case here.

YouTube Screenshot - germanyinusa
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - germanyinusa

It was true for an American soldier when he received one of the highest recognitions of valor. And it didn’t come from the United States armed forces.

Cpl. Tim Focken was on German ground patrol.

The unit came under heavy fire at Qala-ye Zai in Afghanistan. In the storm of gunfire and bullets, Cpl. Focken suddenly felt a jolt of electricity radiate from his chest.

YouTube Screenshot - germanyinusa
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - germanyinusa

“I needed a few seconds to realize that I’d been shot. I wanted to get up and my arm was lying on my back and then it was clear to me that the injury was a bit worse.” Cpl. Focken recalled to Deutsche Well.

YouTube Screenshot - germanyinusa
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - germanyinusa

With Cpl. Focken severely injured and the area engulfed in battle, his evacuation can only be possible by air.

A US Army Medevac helicopter was requested.

Together with the evacuation team was US Army Staff Sergeant Peter Woken.

Woken shared in the story posted by the US Army that evacuation teams like his are on call for 48 hours with a 24-hour downtime in between.

YouTube Screenshot - germanyinusa
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - germanyinusa

They were actually waiting in a “relaxed state” when the radio call came in. He shared that he and his team went from zero to 100 in a matter of minutes.

Their Black Hawk responded to the scene.

Then, they saw how risky it was.

“Normally we will do a high recon and then a low recon. And we only did one low recon and we landed.” Woken recalled, “I guess our pilot chose to not do a full landing. We took off due to safety reasons.”

Tingnan ang post na ito sa Instagram

Isang post na ibinahagi ni United States Army (@usarmy)

They didn’t abandon the German team.

When the opportunity presented itself once more, they extracted Focken and the three soldiers that he was leading.

Tingnan ang post na ito sa Instagram

Isang post na ibinahagi ni United States Army (@usarmy)

Despite his severe injury, Focken was still able to maintain order in his unit and was able to receive much-needed first aid.

Woken was impressed by Focken’s attitude.

“He was able to jump into the helicopter even though it was three and a half feet off the ground. He was able to speak with me and explain how he was feeling. And at the end of the mission, he walked off the helicopter.” He said, describing Focken.

YouTube Screenshot - germanyinusa
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - germanyinusa

To thank Woken and his team, the German Armed forces decided to award them with one of Germany’s highest honors when it comes to valor.

He received the German Medal of Honor for Gallantry in Action.

The award is similar to the American Silver Star. Ambassador Peter Ammon presented the medal to him. Corporal Focken was also present in the ceremony.

YouTube Screenshot - germanyinusa
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - germanyinusa

“The German government and the German people are deeply grateful for your husband and your father,” Ammon said. “He will be the first American to receive the German Medal of Honor for Gallantry in Action here in the U.S.”

And indeed, it’s an action that will truly make anyone proud.

See this American hero pinned with Germany’s highest medal of honor in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Elijah Chan
hi@sbly.com
Elijah Chan is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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