He ran to the sound of the guns

Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler of Roland, Oklahoma was identified as the American commando killed in action during a rescue of hostages held by the Islamic State.  He became the first American serviceman killed fighting ISIS.

Wheeler was not only a member of Delta Force, but a highly decorated special operator with an astonishing record of achievement.  He is survived by his wife and four children.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said, "I am immensely proud of this young man," who heard the firefight break out in the prison and ran to the sound of the guns.

Wheeler was a warrior, having deployed up to 17 times to Iraq and Afghanistan.  Here's a partial list of his awards and decorations:

He was first assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment in Fort Lewis, Washington

In 1997, he transitioned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Lewis, Washington. Over the next seven years, he worked his way up the ranks from infantryman, rifle team leader, squad leader, weapons squad leader, and anti-tank section leader.

In 2004, Wheeler was assigned to U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

During his military careers Wheeler was deployed at least 17 times — most of those in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army said.

Wheeler's awards and decorations for his service were numerous and include four Bronze Star Medals with Valor Device, seven Bronze Star Medals, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor Device, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, seven Army Commendation Medals, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, eight Army Achievement Medals, the Good Conduct Medal (6th award).

He also earned the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars, the Iraq Campaign Medal with six Bronze Service Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (3rd Award), the Army Service Ribbon, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Valorous Unit Award (2nd Award), the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge, and three Overseas Service Bars.

They don't come any braver or more dedicated than that.

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