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Aug 14, 2019 9:22:13 AM

Army Sgt. 1st Class Waters to receive Angel of the Battlefield Award

Waters awarded the Distinguished Silver Cross 

HQ-2019-Waters-ArmyThe Armed Services YMCA is pleased to announce Sgt. 1st Class Gregory A. Waters of the U.S. Army as one of the 2019 Angel of the Battlefield Award recipients. Waters, who was awarded the Silver Star Medal, was officially upgraded and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in June for actions in July 2008.    

"I was very very humbled [to be awarded] the Silver Star..., then the Distinguished Service Cross," Waters said recently in an interview with the American Veterans Center. "I've had the opportunity to read all of the other citations [of others who have had their Silver Star upgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross] and I'm humbled by the company I find myself in."

Waters was assigned as a platoon medic with 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. Returning from an overnight patrol, his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device and was ambushed by fighters. Waters was rendered unconscious in the resulting blast.

After he regained consciousness, he ignored his own wounds and gave critical lifesaving care to his platoon-mates and returned enemy gunfire. When medevac helicopters arrived and evacuated the wounded, Waters refused to leave his platoon until the enemy fighters had fled, unwilling to leave the remaining Soldiers without a medic. 

For this, Waters was awarded the Silver Star in 2009 and upgraded to the Distinguished Silver Cross in June 2019. We are pleased to honor Angel of the Battlefield award recipient Sgt. 1st Class Gregory A. Waters. 

"I'm excited and very humbled to find myself here," Waters said of being selected as a 2019 Angel of Battlefield Award recipient.  

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video courtesy American Veterans Center

Waters, originally from Indianapolis, Ind., comes from a military family. His grandfather served in World War II. His parents both served in the Air Force. His sister currently serves in Army. Water is now a military recruiter in Michigan. 

Waters' wife, Jill, told the Detroit Free Press earlier this year that her husband is a hero to her and their family as well as to mothers and brothers and relatives of the lives her husband has helped save. "He puts his entire heart into everything he does," she said of her husband. "He doesn't consider himself a hero, but anything he does, he does 100 percent."

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The Angels of the Battlefield Awards Gala is an Armed Services YMCA signature event honoring the individual men and women on the front lines who are saving lives and have demonstrated extraordinary courage. The Armed Services YMCA recognizes a single individual from each military branch for their accomplishments.  

The annual Angels of the Battlefield Gala, now in its 13th year, is Oct. 29, 2019, at the Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City in Arlington, Va. Angels is the only event which recognizes the front line actions of military medical personnel.   

ABOUT ARMED SERVICES YMCA:  

The Armed Services YMCA is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves currently serving military members and their families. In 2018, we engaged more than 225,000 people in our programs and delivered nearly 1 million points of services to junior enlisted Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guardsmen and family members at 200 service centers in 18 states. Whether providing respite child care for parents in need, summer camps for kids, or assisting with emergency needs, the Armed Services YMCA is a nonprofit with a mission: Strengthening Our Military Family.