Soldier recovering from brain injury gets Silver Star, re-enlists to help others

A Fort Campbell soldier who suffered a traumatic brain injury has received the Silver Star, the military's third highest medal for valor, for his actions to help evacuate wounded troops during a mission in Afghanistan in 2010.

After receiving the medal on Friday at the installation on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line, Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Loheide of Patchogue, N.Y., immediately re-enlisted in the Army to serve other wounded warriors.

Loheide and others were injured when an Air Force jet mistakenly dropped a bomb on their position during a mission that involved the clearance of a Taliban haven, according to The Leaf-Chronicle.

"I remember hearing the jet coming in," Loheide told the paper. "I can even remember hearing the bomb come in. And then everything went black."

Loheide told The Leaf-Chronicle he struggled to identify his situation after the blast, yet was still able to take control of the situation and identify casualties.

"The thing that went through my mind was I just didn’t want to fail. The fear of failure was greater than fear of dying or of the enemy," he told the paper.

Despite his injuries and under fire, Loheide marked a landing zone for helicopters to evacuate the wounded and led his soldiers to safety.

Loheide spent several months recovering from his injury and now serves as an adaptive reconditioning non-commissioned officer at the Warrior Transition Battalion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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