Fort Hood: Soldier receives 2nd-highest decoration for heroism in Iraq

Published: Mar. 20, 2019 at 10:38 PM CDT
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A former Fort Hood soldier was honored Wednesday with the second-highest decoration possible in the United States Army.

Sgt. Daniel Cowart returned to his former duty station to receive the Distinguished Service Cross for the heroic actions he displayed while deployed in Iraq.

"I’m still trying to soak it all in. I'm blessed and amazed that all my friends and family, all my army buddies and crew-mates are here,” he said.

For Cowart, May 13, 2007, is a day he won’t forget. After engaging in combat with an insurgent during a vehicle stop, he was able to knock the insurgent to the ground. But, the insurgent was able to detonate the vest, costing Cowart his left leg and killing his-then lieutenant.

"Go through our checks and tried to get them to exit the vehicle and they aren't doing the right thing. It kind of gets blurry right around there,” Cowart said.

Michael Llanas was the responding medic in 2007.

"When i saw the explosion, it was like slow motion. I got out and training kicked in and i ran to my boy. It was a blur,” Llanas said.

As a result of Cowart's actions that kept the explosive from reaching its intended target, the lives of others were saved.

"It is not an exaggeration to say that what he did saved American lives and Iraqi lives. That is absolutely true,” Lt. Col. Mat Chitty said.

Cowart says he would do it again.

"I wouldn't hesitate. I would do the same thing, maybe a little bit faster,” he added.

He has received many awards and decorations, including Silver Star and the Purple Heart.