British hero in Iraq

Two days ago captain Pete Norton, 43, was awarded the George Cross, Britain's top award for heroism.

On July 24 of last year, Mr. Norton was called to the scene of a roadside bomb ambush which had targeted a US convoy killing four American soldiers. According to the account in the U.K. Sun, on his arrival at the scene Mr. Norton, a bomb disposal expert, ordered

his own team and the US troops back to their vehicles while he went forward alone. Within seconds, he had stepped on a pressure pad that detonated another huge blast from two 155mm artillery shells strapped together. The explosion catapulted him 15ft through the air, shattered his left arm and left leg — but incredibly left him still conscious and lucid. Realising there were almost certainly more boobytraps in the area, Pete refused first aid from comrades. Instead he commanded the bomb hunt, issuing orders about where to look and where it was safe to stand. His instructions led to the discovery of a third hidden bomb just six yards from where he was lying.

Mr. Norton lost his left leg above the knee and his left arm below the elbow. Even though his selfless action almost certainly saved lives, Mr. Norton, a father of two, said 'I wasn't brave — I was just doing my job.'

There are many heroes in Iraq, but the media willfully ignore them. Instead, they portray our troops as thugs and try to create a scandal every time a few terrorists get slapped around. The constant whining and moaning of these neurotic dupes is in glaring contrast with the valor and courage of our soldiers. One can only hope that the disconnect will not be lost on the public.

Mr. Norton's is an inspirational story and he is a true hero. It is heartening to learn that there are still people like this among us. Few of us are brave or strong enough to ever do something like this, a humbling realization which should only increase the measure of our gratitude. It is on our military and dedicated individuals like Mr. Norton that our security ultimately depends. We can never thank them enough.

Vasko Kohlmayer    3 25 06

Two days ago captain Pete Norton, 43, was awarded the George Cross, Britain's top award for heroism.

On July 24 of last year, Mr. Norton was called to the scene of a roadside bomb ambush which had targeted a US convoy killing four American soldiers. According to the account in the U.K. Sun, on his arrival at the scene Mr. Norton, a bomb disposal expert, ordered

his own team and the US troops back to their vehicles while he went forward alone. Within seconds, he had stepped on a pressure pad that detonated another huge blast from two 155mm artillery shells strapped together. The explosion catapulted him 15ft through the air, shattered his left arm and left leg — but incredibly left him still conscious and lucid. Realising there were almost certainly more boobytraps in the area, Pete refused first aid from comrades. Instead he commanded the bomb hunt, issuing orders about where to look and where it was safe to stand. His instructions led to the discovery of a third hidden bomb just six yards from where he was lying.

Mr. Norton lost his left leg above the knee and his left arm below the elbow. Even though his selfless action almost certainly saved lives, Mr. Norton, a father of two, said 'I wasn't brave — I was just doing my job.'

There are many heroes in Iraq, but the media willfully ignore them. Instead, they portray our troops as thugs and try to create a scandal every time a few terrorists get slapped around. The constant whining and moaning of these neurotic dupes is in glaring contrast with the valor and courage of our soldiers. One can only hope that the disconnect will not be lost on the public.

Mr. Norton's is an inspirational story and he is a true hero. It is heartening to learn that there are still people like this among us. Few of us are brave or strong enough to ever do something like this, a humbling realization which should only increase the measure of our gratitude. It is on our military and dedicated individuals like Mr. Norton that our security ultimately depends. We can never thank them enough.

Vasko Kohlmayer    3 25 06