The Kentucky National Guard’s 617th Military Police Company has turned out a long list of heroes – among them Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester, Staff Sgt. Timothy Nein, and Sgt. Jason Mike. Spc. Pullen is yet another addition to those ranks.
On March 20, 2005, Pullen was driving one of three Humvees providing security for a 30-vehicle convoy traveling in Iraq. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary – which is often how the prelude to an ambush appears. Suddenly insurgents sprung a complex operation and began pouring heavy fire from multiple directions, stopping the convoy in its tracks. Pullen’s unit moved out from behind the convoy to flank the insurgents and prevent them from escaping. Pullen’s team began firing back.
Then she heard a call for help over the radio. Pullen backed her Humvee into a better position, jumped out, and ran 90 meters through the line of fire toward the injured soldier. She administered first aid and tried to calm him down. As she was treating him, another soldier launched a shoulder-held rocket toward a nest of insurgents. Although he warned of the impending firing, Pullen couldn’t move out of the way fast enough. She threw her small frame over the wounded soldier to protect him from the blast – a blast that threw her off the soldier onto her backside.
About 27 insurgents were killed during the fight, and six were injured. For her efforts, Pullen was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” on June 16, 2005.