FORT LEWIS, Wash. — A Fort Lewis Soldier will be awarded the Silver Star medal on Mon., July 14, for combat action while serving with the 66th Military Police Company, in Afghanistan. The 66th Military Police Company, part of the 42nd Military Police Brigade, returned from Afghanistan in April, 2008.
Sgt. Michael Alexander Espejo Jr., will be recognized for his actions on Sept. 27, 2007, while assigned as a team leader for the company’s 1st Platoon, which was stationed at Forward Operating Base Torkham.
According to the award citation, Espejo’s “professionalism and valor in dealing with the instantaneous threat of a suicide bomber, disguised as an Afghan National Police officer, were paramount in saving the lives of numerous personnel.”
According to the award nomination, Espejo and his team had responded to the site of a previous explosion to assist Afghan National police. At the scene, Espejo quickly determined a man dressed as an Afghan National Police officer was equipped with a suicide bomb. Espejo recognized the threat, and shot and killed the attacker before the assailant could detonate the device, saving the lives of his team, the Afghan Police Officers who had responded to the previous blast, and a large crowd of civilians that had gathered at their location.