ON THIS DATE in 2007, eighteen-year-old Monica Lin Brown saved the lives of five U.S. soldiers after a roadside bombing in Afghanistan. When the bomb struck a Humvee, Brown shielded the five victims and dragged them to safety while under attack from enemy gunfire. The military said Brown’s “bravery, unselfish actions and medical aid rendered under fire saved the lives of her comrades and represents the finest traditions of heroism in combat.” She received the second Silver Star given to a woman, and the first awarded to a teenage woman.

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