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JBLM soldier ‘humbled’ by top military honor

In December, Master Sgt. Earl Plumlee received the Medal of Honor for his role in a 2013 attack

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Medal of Honor recipient Master Sgt. Earl Plumlee did not sign up for the military to receive awards.

”I came here for a purpose. It was to keep the country strong and play my part in it,” said Plumlee, who received the military’s top honor from President Joe Biden last December.

Plumlee said he was humbled to be honored for his actions in August 2013 in Afghanistan.

According to the Army, Plumlee acted heroically defending a base that had been infiltrated by members of the Taliban. Plumlee is credited with advancing towards and killing several of the insurgents while helping fellow soldiers who had been injured.

More than eight years later, Plumlee said details of the event are vividly burned into his memory.

”I can recall the taste, touch, smell,” said Plumlee. “The facial expressions of the fighters…being hate or fear. We were so close.”

Plumlee suffered serious injuries in the attack, including several herniated disks in his back.

But more than eight years later, he continues to serve with the 1st Special Forces Group at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Plumlee, who joined the National Guard as a high school junior before joining the Marines and the Army’s Special Forces, said he’s ready for whatever comes next.

”Having fought a war for 20 years, I’ve still got some stuff people are interested in knowing. That’s what I’ll keep telling them until they want me to stop,” said Plumlee.

Twenty members of the military who served in Afghanistan have received the Medal of Honor.