Local Guard unit earns merit commendationA very good write up in the local paper, read it all. No matter how you personally feel about the conflict in the ME, it is imperative to not take it out on the brave men and women that are doing there duty there.
Last Updated:October 07. 2007 11:11PM
Published: October 08. 2007 3:30AM
Major Eric Burrage recalls the question someone asked upon his return from a tour in Iraq as commander of the 115th Signal Battalion's Company A.
"Someone asked me once, 'How did your soldiers handle it over there?' " Burrage said during a ceremony Sunday afternoon where the company received the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
Burrage said that question brought many thoughts to mind.
Those thoughts included what he refers to as the company's "first-class service," despite the practically daily mortar and rocket attacks and searing Iraqi desert heat they endured.
He thought about Staff Sgt. Phillip Gunter's ability to listen to a damaged generator run over the phone and diagnose the problem. That helped reduce the amount of dangerous convoys that would have been needed to go to the generator and diagnose the problem.
Burrage mentioned numerous electrical, plumbing and building support projects that remain to this day in Iraq.
He recalled when 1st Lt. Bill Smith was hit by mortar fire and knocked to the ground. Smith's first thoughts at that moment were concern about others' safety and whether the shelling had knocked out the signal service.
Finally, Burrage came up with the best description he could think of, to answer the question of how his solders handled their tour of war in Iraq. [link]
Monday, October 8, 2007
The 115th came home to more than just heartfelt thanks and applause, they also got a little recognition from higher up: