A Spokane Tribe member has received the Bronze Star for “exceptionally meritorious service” while serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq.
Sgt. 1st Class Michael C. Sebastian, 40, is a platoon sergeant with the 34th Engineering Co., part of the 20th Engineer Brigade. The sapper unit clears routes, providing freedom of movement for U.S. and Iraqi security forces as well as civilians in the Salah ad Din Province.
In receiving the honor recently in Baghdad from his commanding officer, Col. Richard Kaiser, Sebastian was credited with saving lives through quick thinking and tactical awareness between September 2010 and September 2011, including an instance when his actions led to the severe disruption of an entire terrorist cell.
Sebastian’s patrol came to the aid of a patrol that had been attacked by a rocket-propelled grenade. The platoon leader quickly established communications, enabling another unit to pursue and detain 17 suspects.
In another incident, Sebastian discovered and detained an armed suspect with a video camera who was gathering intelligence on the engineers’ route-clearing activities. This information potentially would have been used to inflict more damage on U.S. soldiers.
Sebastian is the son of Genevieve Sebastian, of Wellpinit, Wash., and Robert Trottier, of Columbia Falls, Mont.
He lives in Schofield Barracks in Honolulu, Hawaii, with his wife, Cherie, and 8-year-old daughter, Maddie.