Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has presented seven 101st Airborne Division soldiers with Silver Star Medals and one Bronze Star Medal with Valor while visiting eastern Afghanistan.
According to a military news release, the soldiers were all from 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Campbell, Ky. The awards presented on Tuesday were for the soldiers' actions during fighting in June and July in Kunar province.
Gates gave Silver Stars to 1st Lt. Stephen R. Tangen of Naperville, Ill.; Sgt. 1st Class John P. Fleming of Alton, Ill.; Staff Sgt. Brent A. Schneider of Broken Arrow, Okla.; Staff Sgt. Daniel J. Hayes of Wyoming, Mich.; Cpl. Joshua Busch of Seymour, Wis., and Pfc. Richard T. Bennett of St. Charles, Ill.
He gave the Bronze Star Medal with Valor to 1st Lt. Douglas F. Jones of Dallas.