20 years old
Company C, 1st Battalion,
February 17, 1948 – May 16, 1968
Sergeant Roark was the point squad leader of a small force which had the mission of rescuing 11 men in a hilltop observation post under heavy attack by a company-size force, approximately 1,000 meters from the battalion perimeter.
As lead elements of the relief force reached the besieged observation post, intense automatic weapons fire from enemy occupied bunkers halted their movement.
Without hesitation, Sergeant Roark maneuvered his squad, repeatedly exposing himself to withering enemy fire to hurl grenades and direct the fire of his squad to gain fire superiority and cover the withdrawal of the outpost and evacuation of its casualties.
Frustrated in their effort to overrun the position, the enemy swept the hilltop with small arms and volleys of grenades. Seeing a grenade land in the midst of his men, Sergeant Roark, with complete disregard for his safety, hurled himself upon the grenade, absorbing its blast with his body.
Sergeant Roark’s magnificent leadership and dauntless courage saved the lives of many of his comrades and were the inspiration for the successful relief of the outpost.
His actions which culminated in the supreme sacrifice of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect great credit on himself and the United States Army.
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.
Those Who Say That We’re In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don’t Know Where To Look
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