John Hawes served as an Army sniper in Afghanistan. In 2006, while on patrol high in the mountains, John’s unit became pinned down by Taliban fire. The bloody ordeal, chronicled in the book, The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor, led to the death of John’s friend, Sgt. First Class Jared Monti.
Shortly before Monti’s death, John and Jared had been fighting side-by-side, trying to stave off the ferocious attack. For his actions that day trying to rescue a downed solder, Monti was awarded the Medal of Honor. Sgt Hawes was awarded the Silver Star:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in connection with military operations against an armed hostile force while serving with the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, on 21 June 2006. Sergeant Hawes was leading his 16-member patrol through reconnaissance and surveillance operations when the group was violently attacked and pinned down by a larger enemy force of at least 60 fighters. He quickly organized a defense to prevent an enemy attack. Sergeant Hawes’ courage and leadership defeated the enemy, saved the lives of his patrol and left 22 enemy fighters dead.