"It's an honor to receive the Silver Star as a soldier, so it feels great."
That's Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester's reaction to being awarded the Silver Star.
She was nominated for the award after dozens of insurgents opened fire on the convoy she and other National Guard troops were escorting back in March.
Hester says: "Bullets were flying, RPG (rocket propelled grenade) rounds had been going off."
Hester says when they were attacked, her training kicked in and all she could do was react. "You don't have time to think about how you're feeling the adrenaline is pumping, the bullets are flying and it's basically you or them."
Months after that heart pumping incident where three soldiers were injured, SGT. Hester's company is remembering, SPC. Michael Hayes, one of their own who was killed in action.
Hester says she was working security with him the day he died. She says: "His vehicle took a direct hit with an RPG, a rocket propelled grenade, and unfortunately he was killed that day, and he will be missed."
As members of the company recover from the loss of SPC. Hayes, Hester says they'll continue to do their job and serve our country with pride.