A Payson native who is the winner of the Silver Star was the honoree of the 2012 American Legion Riders Run for the Payson Supply Line.
Matthew Binney, who was born in Payson and attended Payson High School, was honored at the ceremonies following the “Fun Run” which raised more than $10,000 for the Payson Supply Line. He is the son of George and Brenda Binney of Star Valley.
The following tells the story of Binney’s heroic, award-winning actions and is from the Web site, militarytimes.com.
The Silver Star was presented to Staff Sergeant Matthew Binney, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as the Medical Sergeant for Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 765 (ODA-765), Company A, 2d Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), during combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, at Pashmul, Kandahar, Afghanistan, June 24, 2006.
Binney’s heroic actions, despite two serious wounds, defeated a Taliban attack, saved the lives of his comrades, and prevented the destruction of his team.
While conducting a cordon and search mission to capture or kill Taliban leadership in Panjawi District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Binney was assigned to lead a support by fire element as part of an effort to seize a compound located on key terrain adjacent to the detachment’s perimeter. His element consisted of one U.S. Army Embedded Tactical Trainer (ETT), an interpreter, and nine Afghan soldiers. As they moved to a position they came under heavy Taliban fire.
Binney maneuvered his element through enemy fire to his designated position and prepared his weapons to support the assault. The compound was quickly cleared and secured by the assault team.
Immediately following the assault, an unexpectedly large Taliban force counter-attacked with automatic fires. From his support by fire position, Binney initiated lethal direct fires on the enemy, who were attempting to close on the target compound.
Binney’s action blunted the enemy envelopment of the element in the compound. However, his small group immediately began receiving a heavy volume of accurate machine gun, rocket-propelled grenade, and small arms fires from all directions.
Binney maneuvered his element to close with and destroy an enemy automatic weapon that was placing effective fire on the compound. Continuing to maneuver his element, Binney moved through an opening in a low mud wall and unknowingly into the midst of group of Taliban fighters.
Binney, the ETT, and the interpreter reacted with furious fire in several directions and employed hand grenades at extremely close ranges, killing many of the enemy. Groups of enemy fighters continued to approach and fire directly into Binney’s position while shouting insults and threats, indicating their intent to capture the group.
As Binney exposed himself to employ a grenade at a nearby group of enemy fighters, a bullet struck him in the back of the head, knocking him down, resulting in his temporary loss of vision and hearing. As he groped for his weapon and attempted to regain his bearings, two Afghan soldiers were forced to withdraw from their support by fire position, leaving Binney’s small element further isolated.
When Binney regained his vision, he returned to cover, refused medical attention, and rejoined the battle. In a valiant attempt to inspire the remaining defenders, he shouted words of encouragement at them and directed their fire against the determined and advancing Taliban. He then led them in an assault upon Taliban fighters who now seemed more determined to capture the isolated element.
While attempting to maneuver on the flank of the approaching Taliban fighters, now as close as 10 meters, the ETT was seriously injured by a rocket-propelled grenade. Binney, ignoring his own bleeding head wound, selflessly risked his own life while immediately moving to retrieve the injured ETT.
Caught in the open and completely exposed to enemy fire, he was brought down a second time by a burst of machine gun fire that destroyed his M4 carbine and shattered his left shoulder and upper arm. As he lay wounded, he continued encouraging the members of his element, and directed their fire as they became the target of an even heavier fusillade of machine gun and rocket-propelled grenade fires.
Ignoring his wounds, Binney maintained his composure, passed his radio to his interpreter, and assisted in directing a relief force to his position. When the relief force arrived to provide assistance, Binney, despite both of his serious wounds, again refused medical assistance and resolved to walk out on his own so that all assistance could be afforded the more seriously wounded ETT.
Binney’s courageous actions and determined spirit not only prevented his small element from being overrun, captured, or destroyed, but decisively engaged and eliminated enemy forces who would have joined the assault on the beleaguered element defending the compound. His gallantry, dedication to duty, and selfless sacrifice exemplified the warrior ethos and directly contributed to the detachment seizing the initiative, denying the enemy the use of key terrain, and forcing the Taliban retreat.