Former Sgt. Robert Debolt was a private on his first deployment to Afghanistan in September 2008 when an IED engulfed his vehicle in flames and he risked his life to rescue the other soldiers trapped inside.
On Thursday, Debolt got a call from the sergeant major of the Army, letting him know that his award review request had been granted, and he would be receiving the Distinguished Service Cross some time next year, Debolt told Army Times in a phone interview.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” he said a few hours after the call from Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey. “Especially having the sergeant major of the Army call me.”
But Debolt did have an inkling that an upgrade might be in the works. On Wednesday, he said, he got a call from the Pentagon asking him if he’d be available to take a call from a senior official.
This is also the script used in Medal of Honor notifications, in which the president calls to deliver the news directly. Debolt got his hopes up a little, he joked.