As an honor to first responders, Heroes Day is committed to the men and women who help keep their communities safe. Tech. Sgt., Jeremy Pye, U.S. Army, was one of those honorees.
Family and friends describe him as a born leader and his accomplishments prove why. Pye has been in service since 2001 and was deployed in support of Army Special Operations Forces to Kandahar, Afghanistan. During his six-month deployment, he conducted 61 combat missions, 23 on-foot dismounted. He disabled 18 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) as the Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team leader. He assisted in detained handling, enrolling 23 in the FBI system and employed five clandestine counter-insurgency programs helping to upset terrorist networks. Pye took his selfless and courageous actions to the next level when he was placed in looming danger. An estimated 12-14 Taliban fighters engaged Pye's unit from multiple elevated fighting positions within lethal range. Pye’s unit was one of the units fired upon. He was able to identify the source of the enemy from his vehicle gunner position and exposed himself by exiting the vehicle to assist and launch four rounds from the handheld mortar on the enemy positions. During the course of fire, the mortar system became inoperable. Pye immediately retrieved a shoulder launcher from his vehicle and fired 54 separate rounds enabling welcoming forces to plan on the enemy and concurrently refute adversary insurgents any additional encroachment toward his unit and their Afghan partners. His mother, Vicky Stansifer, shared about her son and his service and character.
“I am a very proud mom", said Stanisifer. Jeremy has accomplished his dream of making a difference and saving lives. When he first joined the EOD (bomb squad) I was very afraid. He explained to me that he wanted to save lives, not take them ... he definitely achieved that goal,” she said.
“Jeremy was very disturbed by the events of 9/11. At the time, I worked in a high rise in Houston. He felt very violated as an American citizen that we weren’t safe on our own home grounds. He came home that night and told me he was joining the military,” said Stansifer.
As a graduate of Quest High School in the Humble Independent School District, friends describe him as a quiet leader.
“Jeremy is charming, capable; a quiet leader who gets things done that need doing,” said Carolyn Mashburrn, friend.
“When Jeremy decides something should be done … it shall be accomplished, without hesitation. His teachers at Quest recognized him as a leader and will not be surprised at his great accomplishments. This is Jeremy’s third Bronze Star for bravery,” said his mother.
"Jeremy is quite humble and does not like the term 'hero' being used to describe him. Like most who have served, that term is reserved for those who gave all. Jeremy has lost a few close friends in battles over the years of service. The hero term applies to those friends. He’s 'just doing his job.' I’m his mom. I couldn’t be more proud,” said Stansifer.
To learn more about Pye and his recent honor, visit 520hero.com/content/2014-heroes.