US Secretary of the Army, Thomas E. White, visited wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington DC on Monday to award them America's highest military combat service medal, the Purple Heart.
The soldiers were wounded in action in Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan, during the offensive against al Qaida and Taliban forces.
Specialist Wayne Stanton says his unit was pinned down by al Qaida and Taliban fighters on a ridge above.
Sergeant David Wurtz says he's honored to receive the Purple Heart, but all things considered he would rather be healthy.
Medals were also awarded to Andrew Brent Scott from Queens Park, Pennsylvania, Lieutenant Bradley Majorca, a platoon leader, and Ricardo Miranda Jr. from Salinas, California.
As Operation Anaconda entered its second week, U.S. troops and their Afghan allies scoured the mountains of eastern Afghanistan.
Afghan fighters who returned from the front on Saturday said about 400 al Qaida fighters and their Taliban allies were holed up around one cave complex and about 100 more were believed near another.
On Monday, seven American soldiers died in the operation.