HURLBURT FIELD, FLA. - An Airman from New Bern has been awarded the nation's third highest combat military decoration for saving an injured soldier in Afghanistan.
Michael Blout, 31, a tech sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, was awarded the Silver Star Friday for his heroism in Afghanistan in October 2012. The ceremony happened at Hurlburt Field in Florida, where Blout is currently stationed.
Blout grew up in New Bern. He and his family moved to the city in November 1989 and he graduated from New Bern High School in 2001, according to his father, Mike.
Blout was awarded the Silver Star for his bravery in Afghanistan in October 2012. According to the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), Blout sprinted one mile toward the sound of enemy fire after receiving word that a member of the Army Special Forces was injured in an ambush and needed immediate medical attention.
"I was sitting on a building, on the north side of an objective. We got the word that one of our guys went down, and when one of your guys goes down, it's something you don't even think about. You react," Blout said in an interview with ABC-affiliate WEAR.
While under fire from the enemy, Blout worked to coordinate air support and the arrival of a medical aircraft for his downed comrade, the AFSOC stated.
"I just jumped down there, put myself in front of [the wounded soldier], under no seeking of any auspicious awards like I'm getting now," Blout told WEAR. "It's just, that's my bro. I was just trying to cover my boy while he was getting worked on."
Blout then moved to protect the landing zone from the enemy, which allowed friendly forces to evacuate.
Blout played soccer and ran track at New Bern High School before joining the Air force in April 2002. His father told NewsChannel 12 that Blout has four combat deployments under his belt: two in Afghanistan and two in Iraq.