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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A fallen Armstrong County soldier’s heroism was honored and remembered Friday, 16 years to the day after he was killed in action while serving in Iraq.
Army Staff Sgt. Stevon Booker’s family was presented with the Distinguished Service Cross during a ceremony at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland Friday morning.
WATCH: Ceremony At Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall —
It’s an honor Army Staff Sgt. Stevon Booker’s mother, Freddie Jackson, thought unimaginable.
“This is a great day for me. I am so honored. I am so proud of all my son had accomplished,” said Jackson.
Booker paid the ultimate sacrifice on April 5, 2003. The 34-year-old Apollo native was a 3rd Infantry Division soldier killed in action in Iraq. His company commander at the time, Col. Andrew Hilmes said Booker did all he could to protect his crew.
“His ability to train his soldiers saved a lot of lives. Not just his actions on the 5th of April, but the training he put his soldiers through prior to the 5th of April paid off for the unit,” said Col. Hilmes.
Jackson said her son was born to be in the military.
Col. Hilmes said his personality made that known.
“Sgt. Booker was very hard-nosed, kind of no slack allowed with his soldiers. Very demanding, really tough trainer,” said Col. Hilmes.
If Booker knew he were receiving the Distinguished Service Cross?
“He always used to say he was going to go to Hollywood. This would be Hollywood for him,” said Jackson.
As for his sister, Kim Talley-Armstead, she said he’d be very excited.
“He’d be very proud. He’d probably be pumping his chest right about now,” said Talley-Armstead.
KDKA’s Ross Guidotti Reports:
On top of receiving this honor, a plaque was dedicated to him. It will be hung on the wall in the Hall of Valor inside Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland.
“We’re just very proud. It’s a bittersweet moment, but we are extremely proud. Proud of him,” said Talley-Armstead.
“Steve died for his country and not just for the Booker family,” said Jackson.