THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AUTHORIZED BY CONGRESS
THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS
PRIVATE FIRST CLASS STEPHEN C. SANFORD, UNITED STATES ARMY
EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM IN ACTION
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Private First Class Stephen C. Sanford, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with Company C, 2d Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 172d Stryker Brigade Combat Team, on 19 November 2005, during combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Private Sanford displayed extraordinary courage during the evacuation of casualties from a home in Mosul, Iraq, while under intense enemy fire. Although shot through the leg during his squad’s initial assault attempt, he accompanied his squad during their second assault. Once inside the house, he provided a heavy volume of suppressive fire while the casualties were evacuated. He continued to engage the enemy while escorting the wounded Soldiers from the house. He returned to the house a second time to provide vital covering fire and security for the final withdrawal of the casualties. When the last Soldier leaving the house was shot in the neck, Private Sanford, with complete disregard for his own safety, moved to the Soldier and began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. While attempting to revive the other Soldier, he was shot twice more in the back. Protecting the fallen Soldier, Private Sanford returned fire and killed an insurgent while receiving two more potentially fatal gunshot wounds. He continued to return devastating fire on the enemy while helping his wounded comrade until he was incapacitated by his own loss of blood. Private Sanford’s gallant deed was truly above and beyond the call of duty and is in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service, reflecting great credit upon himself, Charlie Company, 2d Battalion, 1st Infantry, the United States Army, and the United States of America.