SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Tech Sgt. Michael Perolio and his Green Beret team were meeting with a friendly militia in Afghanistan last year when the militia turned on them. Two members of Perolio’s team were wounded, including Captain William Clark, the ground force commander.

Perolio returned fire and controlled precision air strikes to help his team escape the kill zone, and for that, he was awarded the Silver Star Thursday at JBSA-Lackland, where he’s assigned to the 350th Special Warfare Training Squadron.

“Faced with intense enemy fire, Sergeant Perolio immediately took charge of the element by rendering aid, arming his wounded comrades, and establishing fields of fire,” states the citation. “Realizing that the Ground Force Commander was gravely injured and required immediate care, Sergeant Perolio repeatedly exposed himself to the enemy’s kill zone, attempting to identify a route of advantage or cover to maneuver back to friendly lines.”

The Silver Star is the nation’s third highest medal for gallantry against an armed enemy of the United States.

“Perolio saved my life and the lives of several of my guys,” Clark told the Stars and Stripes. “I honestly can’t thank him enough for what he did.”

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