JACKMAN, Maine — Jackman welcomed home a war hero in grand fashion.
With his own parade.
Army Sgt. Timothy Gilboe, who recently received the Silver Star, was greeted by residents as a tractor-trailer float carried him and his family from Mountainview Resort to Forest Hills Consolidated School on Thursday afternoon.
“It means a lot. I couldn’t even put it into words,” said Gilboe about the response from his hometown.
Gilboe received the Silver Star at Fort Polk, La., last Friday. It is the third-highest medal a soldier can be awarded, according to an Army news article covering the event.
According to the Army story, Gilboe’s platoon came under fire from insurgents while in Afghanistan on April 28, 2011. As an enemy rushed toward him, an unarmed Gilboe raced toward the insurgent. He pulled the enemy’s AK-47 barrel toward his armor-plated chest. The enemy fired into Gilboe’s chest, knocking the wind out of him and sending shrapnel into his leg. He engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the insurgent until an Air Force sergeant was able to gun down the enemy.
Gilboe then gave first aid to those wounded and helped lead the wounded to medevac helicopters before tending to his own wounds.
Congressman Mike Michaud thanked Gilboe while reading a portion of his speech on the House of Representatives floor during the reception at Forest Hills School.
“There’s no question that Sgt. Gilboe’s action saved the lives of his comrades that day,” said Michaud. “His remarkable heroism and devotion to his fellow soldiers are an inspiration to all who know him.
“On behalf of the people in the state of Maine, the second congressional district and members of the United States Congress, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have done for this county,” said Michaud.
A humble Gilboe had few words during the ceremony, but thanked and hugged many of the nearly 200 who attended.
“I just want to thank everyone for coming out,” he said. “I grew up in this community. I lost a good friend that day. This will always be his as much as mine.”
Gilboe referred to squad leader Sgt. Matthew Hermanson, who died of wounds from the comabt.
Gilboe’s father, Steve, was appreciative of the town for the ceremony.
“I’m pleased that the town worked so hard, so quickly to get something together,” he said. “It certainly means a lot to Tim. It means an awful lot to see the town pour out like that on a cold day and show the support for the troops.”
Many on the parade route waved small American flags and held up signs welcoming Gilboe home. Many businesses also had similar signs.
Gilboe’s mother, Deanna, was moved by the support for her son.
“I don’t have words to say how blessed we are to live here,” said Deanna Gilboe.
The Boy Scouts were a big part of getting the parade and ceremony together. Troop 497 Scout Master Karla Talpey and Assistant Scout Master Alan Duplessis used Gilboe’s experiences to help motivate the younger scouts. Gilboe was one of 10 to earn the rank of Eagle Scout with the troop.
“We wanted to impress some of the kids with how important [Scouts] is,” said Duplessis.
Gilboe’s parents were happy to have their oldest of four sons home safely.
“Every day they’re home, they’re safe,” said Steve Gilboe. “We have all four boys [home]. It’s been a while” since all four were home at the same time.
Gilboe was also awarded the Certificate of Honor by the Jackman American Legion.