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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Staff Sergeant Hammett L. Bowen Jr.

Date & Location: June 27, 1969 - Binh Duong Vietnam

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 2d Battalion, 14th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. Place and date: Binh Duong Province, Republic of Vietnam, 27 June 1969. Entered service at: Jacksonville, Fla. Born: 30 November 1947, Lagrange, Ga. Citation: S/Sgt. Bowen distinguished himself while serving as a platoon sergeant during combat operations in Binh Duong Province, Republic of Vietnam. S/Sgt. Bowen's platoon was advancing on a reconnaissance mission into enemy controlled terrain when it came under the withering crossfire of small arms and grenades from an enemy ambush force. S/Sgt. Bowen placed heavy suppressive fire on the enemy positions and ordered his men to fall back. As the platoon was moving back, an enemy grenade was thrown amid S/Sgt. Bowen and 3 of his men. Sensing the danger to his comrades, S/Sgt. Bowen shouted a warning to his men and hurled himself on the grenade, absorbing the explosion with his body while saving the lives of his fellow soldiers. S/Sgt. Bowen's extraordinary courage and concern for his men at the cost of his life served as an inspiration to his comrades and are in the highest traditions of the military service and the U.S. Army.