15 January 2009 » By SGT Peter Morrison
Maine Army National Guard Sgt. San Pao receives the Maine State Silver Star award. Pao was wounded in an ambush in April 2004 while serving in Iraq with the 133d Engineer Battalion
Photograph by: Army Sergeant Peter Morrison.
In a fleeting moment the explosion ripped through the convoy. In a torrent of flames and debris, the sonic concussion from the blast hammered the occupants of the Army’s Highly Mobile Multi-Wheeled Vehicle into stunned confusion. Despite the window shattering concussion, once free of the kill-zone, one Soldier made the decision to go back and help the rest of the team. The other two soldiers in the severely damaged HMMWV were looking for guidance and Sgt. San Pao instinctively became their leader.
On January, 11 2009 Pao, currently a team leader with the 152nd Maintenance Company in Augusta, was awarded the Maine State Silver Star at the Augusta Armory for his actions while deployed to Iraq with the 133rd Engineer Battalion.
The Star is awarded to veterans who are former prisoners of war or were awarded the Purple Heart. Pao was wounded during an ambush, April 2004.