Proud Of MY Soldiers

I have been proud of the work that all the men and women of our armed forces are performing. They work hard, long hours in a dangerous and hostile environment and they have to constantly deal with the attacks on them from the liberals in this country. They are out fighting and doing work few others would have thew courage to do so that jackasses like Howard Dean and John Kerry can tell them they can not win and that they are terrorists. I am particularly proud of a special group of soldiers, those that are mine.

As many of you know I am retired from the service. I last served as the First Sergeant of a Medevac unit. My soldiers (and they will always be mine) are over in Iraq at this moment saving lives. My medics, crew chiefs, and pilots are some of the best trained and most professional people with whom I have had the honor to work. I was recently made aware of awards to some of them for bravery under fire. I never doubted for a minute that these guys would act this way, the awards only confirm what I have known all along. In each of them beats the heart of a warrior, next the soul of an angel. Here is the information regarding the heroes (the ones in bold are mine):

Vines Pins Valor Medals on 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment Troopers By Sgt. 1st Class Donald Sparks 3d U.S. CAVALRY PAO

Thanksgiving Day for several troopers of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment included turkey, dressing, sweet potato pie and medals for valor.

Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, who commands the Multinational Corps Iraq, paid a visit to Forward Operating Base Sykes to personally commend the troopers for their acts of heroism and to thanks the troopers of the Regiment for their sacrifices in the war against terrorism.

“Some time today on television, a sports announcer will talk about the hero of a football game,” Vines said before a formation of nearly 150 3rd ACR troopers. “Well these Soldiers standing before me are the true heroes of our nation. It’s an honor to spend this Thanksgiving with you and I’m proud of what you’re doing for our country and the people of Iraq.”

Capt. Daniel Anderson, Chief Warrant Officer Milton Walker, Sgt. Jerome Shai

, and Sgt. Kevin Doyle were pinned the Air Medal with Valor for their heroic actions on Aug. 29.

Assigned to 1159th Medical Company (Air Ambulance), 36th Medical Evacuation Battalion, the aeromedevac team conducted a mission, under direct enemy fire without concern for their personal safety, for two urgent-surgical pilots from a downed OH-58D Kiowa Warrior aircraft in the city of Tal Afar.

In less than seven minutes from notification, the crew – Smuggler 62, lifted off under night vision goggle conditions. Their aircraft received small arms fire to the rotor blades and inside the pilot and crew compartment.

Shai, from Gambrills, Md., was the first of the crew to identify and report the small arms fire and the location of the firers. Maintaining strict composure, Shai rapidly assessed the aircraft for damage and reported to the pilot commander, Anderson, that the aircraft was capable to continue the mission

Anderson, from Sacramento, Calif., and Walker, from Bel Air, Md., immediately executed emergency procedures to avoid the continuing volley of fire from the ground.

With concern for the pilots on the ground, Smuggler 62 continued to fly toward the downed aircraft. Once on the ground Anderson instructed the crew chief to conduct a physical inspection of the Smuggler 62 aircraft which identified multiple indications of small arms impact and bullet fragments within the aircraft.

After exiting the aircraft, Doyle, from Peabody, Mass., began searching for the location of the casualties. Doyle, armed with his M-4, ran to two Bradley Fighting Vehicles near the landing zone and received negative confirmation on the location of the casualties.

He identified two dismounted Soldiers and ran to their location. Upon his arrival to their location, enemy small arms fire was heard and they assumed protective fighting positions.

Doyle continued the pursuit across open ground, within enemy small arms range, to locate the injured pilots and located the patients in a third Bradley where he organized two litter teams and loaded the patients onto the aircraft.

“The bravery and the courage of these air crew members of the 1159th Air Medevac exemplifies what is good about Army Aviation and the efforts of our troopers here Iraq,” said Maj. John Scott, commander, Longknife Squadron, 3rd ACR. “I’m extremely proud of them.”

There is no greater reward for a leader than to see the fruits of his labor come to pass in the skillful performance of duty by his subordinates. At that time comes the realization that the countless hours burning the midnight oil was more than worth it.

In addition to these fine troops I have been informed that others have been awarded medals including the Bronze Star (I will post about this if possible). I am proud yet humbled to have been a part of the lives of such wonderful heroes. I echo the words of MAJ Scott and take great pride in the mission of the Medevac. Our guys never leave until we have secured the wounded and when you are in our hands you are being cared for by the best the Army, no the world, has to offer.

Great Job Guys, I know your families are proud, as am I.

Big Dog Salute to

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One Response to “Proud Of MY Soldiers”

  1. Laurie says:

    Thank you for posting that. As an ordinary American, I’m proud of them too.