Alumnus Honored as War Hero
By Rich Lamance, Army & Air Force Hometown News Service
Reprinted by permission
When Steven G. Cowles '01 ran onto midfield at the San Antonio (Texas) Alamodome during pre-game activities of the Army sponsored "All-American" Bowl all-star football game, he was greeted by one of the national heroes of the high school gridiron. But it wasn't the football star being highlighted as the true hero.
Army 1st Lt. Cowles was one of more than 80 heroes of Operations Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star or Purple Heart, who was matched with an all-star player as a tribute to American service members involved in the war against terrorism.
Cowles, a 2001 Norwich graduate, was in San Antonio to be honored for his participation in the war and to represent the Army in what has become one of the largest events of its kind in high school sports.
"I'm here as an award recipient, but I really want to emphasize that my success was a direct result of the hard work of the soldiers around me," Cowles said. "The recognition should go to the thousands of unrecognized soldiers that fought and did everything that they could to get us into the position that we're in now."
Cowles was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions in Operation Iraqi Freedom. "I'm being called a hero, but I feel that I just did my job," he said. "The credit should go to the many soldiers who worked together as a team to get the job done."
Chosen as one of just over 80 heroes of the war within the entire Army wasn't lost on Cowles, who believes strongly that what he does for a living pays big dividends for keeping America free.
"It's important to serve your country so it can maintain the freedoms we all enjoy," he said. "Every day, every person is put in some sort of situation that threatens our freedoms. It may be very insignificant or it may be extremely threatening, but the day you stop fighting for freedom, it will be taken from you."
Cowles is at Fort Sill, Okla., now working as an executive officer and temporary commander of the 15th Transportation Company. His brother, Scott, is currently a junior at NU and drill sergeant for Hotel Company.
firstname.lastname@example.org, February 2004