Screenshot from the motion picture Black Hawk Down
Specialist 4 John “Stebby” Stebbins won the Silver Star for his heroics at the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993. Since 2000 he’s been serving a 30-year sentence for raping his 6-year-old daughter.
by David Robb
You may have seen the movie Black Hawk Down. It was one of the biggest box office hits of 2001, and earned its director an Oscar nomination. The film, based on Mark Bowden’s nonfiction book of the same name, told the story of the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu. One of the real life Army heroes of the battle was Specialist 4 John ‘Stebby’ Stebbins, who was shot three different times – and thought dead each time – but recovered from his wounds and received the Silver Star, the third-highest military honor.
A former baker from upstate New York, Stebbins served as the company clerk for an elite unit of Army Rangers. His fellow soldiers referred to him as “chief coffee maker” and “paper pusher.” But when thrown into battle, his heroics surprised everyone.
“He was a changed man, a wild animal, dancing around, shooting like a madman,” Bowden wrote in his book.