BEAVERTON – In support of Operation Inherent Resolve, Specialist Hunter T. Kory from Beaverton distinguished himself during a combat reconnaissance patrol near Kibert Ammu, Syria on February 12, 2020. Specialist Hunter T. Kory was awarded The Bronze Star Metal With Valor. The Purple Heart, The Army Commendational Metal with “C” (Combat) Device, and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. What follows is his story from that day.
SPC Hunter Kory was serving as a gunner in a MAT-V armed with an M2 machine gun for his platoon of four vehicles during a routine reconnaissance patrol south-east of the city of Qamishli, Syria on February 12, 2020.
Specialist Kory’s platoon was stopped by 8-10 armed militia members at a check point and told they could not continue on their route. The platoon leader and several members of the patrol dismounted to conduct a leader engagement in an attempt to resolve the standoff. SPC Kory watched with alarm as the crowd swelled in number to approximately 200 civilian personnel that grew increasingly hostile to the American presence.
The situation deteriorated rapidly as the crowd began to chant and throw rocks and cinder blocks and climbed on the US vehicles, ripping down an American flag. The armed militia members were intermingled with the crowd and seized the opportunity to move to advantageous positions as close as 10 meters to the US vehicles. The platoon leader and his group mounted the vehicles in preparation to force their way through the check point. Specialist Kory and the other gunners used flares and threw flash bang grenades in an attempt to disperse the crowd and open a way forward.
Suddenly, the crowd began to move back, and the militia members engaged the platoon with intense fire from their positions. A hidden militia PKM weapon firing armor piercing rounds immediately disabled the platoon leader’s vehicle rendering it immobile. Specialist Kory willfully exposed himself to the enemy fire by rising above the level of his turret, in order to use his M4A1 carbine to prevent any civilian casualties that would have resulted from engaging with his .50 Caliber Browning Machine Gun.
Specialist Kory’s turret was hit with multiple 7.62 millimeter rounds, one of which ricocheted off the turret hitting his right hand and face and another round ricocheted off his helmet. The force of the blow to his helmet knocked him back into the vehicle. Specialist Kory was quickly evaluated by his Sargent and reported that he was still able to fight. Specialist Kory knowingly disregarded his wounds and the intense enemy fire as he resumed engaging enemy combatants with his M4A1.
During this time, an additional vehicle in his patrol was disabled due to effective fires from the militia group. The enemy broke contact after two of their members were killed by the accurate fire from Specialist Kory. After enemy firing had ceased, another solider took over as the gunner for his vehicle, while Specialist Kory was evaluated by the platoon medic. Specialist Kory was medically prioritized as routine but stayed with his patrol for the remainder of the mission, an additional 10 hours.
Once the disabled vehicles were connected, the platoons left the engagement area without sustaining any casualties. Specialist Kory’s actions ultimately aided the recovery and ex-filtration of all friendly personnel and equipment and prevented civilian casualties.
Specialist Kory’s actions were in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Task Force Gimlet, Task Force Wolf, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, and The United States Army.
Specialist Hunter Kory is the son of Jamie and Donna Kory and Brandon and Sarah Nunn both of Beaverton. Hunter is a 2017 graduate from Beaverton High School and is married to his high school sweetheart Skyler (Vanhorn) Kory. Together they have an eight month old son, Luke James Kory. Hunter, Skyler and Luke are currently stationed at Ft. Wainwright Alaska until December of 2020. Their follow-on assignment is Ft. Campbell Ky. Home of the 101st Airborne Division Screaming Eagles. Hunter enlisted in the Army his Senior year of high school and plans on making the Army his career.