U.S. Army Sgt. Joshua Laughery of Houston will receive the prestigious Silver Star, the third-highest combat decoration that can be awarded to a member of any branch of military for valor in the face of an enemy.
"It is a really big honor for valor for bravery under fire, and not many people get it, and I am very proud of him for getting it -- definitely," the soldier's father, Christopher Laughery said.
Christopher Laughery is a Vietnam veteran who has watched his 27-year-old son serve two tours in Iraq and another in Afghanistan, leaving behind two daughters and a wife to serve his country.
"It's not an easy thing to go in harm's way," Christopher Laughery said.
On September 12 of last year, that's exactly what Sgt. Laughery did when his squad was attacked in Afghanistan.
"They were ambushed," Christopher Laughery said. "Several of them were hurt -- all of the ones in charge and some other people were hurt."
According to his Silver Star citation, Sgt. Laughery -- who was then a corporal -- took over his squad in the middle of the ambush.
"He called in the Medevacs to get the injured people out," his father told us.
He then led the remaining men as they chased the insurgents down into a cellar. A close-range firefight ensued.
"It's pretty amazing. I think most people, their natural reaction would be to turn and run but that's not what he did," the soldier's step-mother, Sherry Laughery, said.
Sgt. Laughery held the enemy at bay until help arrived. His bravery saved the life of every member of his squad and earned him the prestigious Silver Star.
"It's an amazing honor and we're proud," Sherry Laughery said. "We're thrilled for him."
"I am just happy that everyone made it out that day and everyone is okay, and I am very proud of him for stepping up and doing what needed to be done," Christopher Laughery said.
Laughery's mother is also attending Tuesday's ceremony at Fort Polk and is equally proud of her only son's actions in combat.