Soldier shed armor to save wounded By Kevin Maurer As the Taliban machine-gunners zeroed in, Master Sgt. Brendan OâConnor pressed himself into the dirt. Then he did something that the manuals donât teach: OâConnor shucked his body armor to make himself a smaller target for the gunners. Small enough to crawl 200 feet in a shallow ditch to the aid of wounded soldiers. OâConnor says he did it because it was a job that needed to be done. He doesnât think of himself as a hero. But his superiors disagree. They say that his courage stood out on a day when many members of a Fort Bragg-based Special Forces unit showed extraordinary bravery. Four of the soldiers have already been awarded the Silver Star for valor. Thatâs the Armyâs third-highest award. OâConnor is to be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in a ceremony planned for April 30. Only the Medal of Honor ranks higher in recognition of courage in combat. Story Brave men at their finest. Fantastic story of courage in the face of adversity.