- Associated Press - Thursday, March 27, 2014

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) - Eight soldiers from Fort Bragg’s 3rd Special Forces Group were awarded Silver Stars for acts of valor while serving in Afghanistan on Thursday, including one who managed to catch an enemy grenade in the air and tossed it aside to protect his fellow soldiers.

Lt. Gen. Charles Cleveland, commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, presented the awards during a ceremony at Fort Bragg.

Cleveland also bestowed 28 Bronze Star Medals for Valor, 36 Army Commendation Medals for Valor and 27 Purple Hearts.

The Silver Star is the third-highest military decoration for valor and is given for gallantry in action against a U.S. enemy. It is being awarded in seven different actions that took place in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2013.

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