News: "Iron Knights" award medals to combat veterans
FORT HOOD, Texas — Leaders, Soldiers and Family members gathered, June 3, to recognize three 4th Infantry Division heroes and present awards and medals for commendable actions during a recent combat deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Lt. Col. Scott McKean, commander of the 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div., and Command Sgt. Maj. Edward Mitchell awarded two Bronze Star Medals, one with a "V" device for valor in combat, a Purple Heart, and an Army Commendation Medal during the ceremony behind the battalion headquarters on Fort Hood.
"Today we are going to recognize some Soldiers that exemplify a long tradition of heroes and warriors that take care of each other and bring an honor to our battalion and regiment," McKean stated.
McKean spoke of the January day in Iraq when Spc.'s David Regan and William Hoglen, both engineers assigned to 2nd Platoon, Company E, 1st Bn., 66th Armor Regt., 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., were struck by an explosively formed projectile improvised Explosive Device while conducting route clearance operations in eastern Baghdad.
Regan, a native of Portland, Ore., sustained life-threatening injuries and Hoglen, who also received wounds during the blast, treated Regan with first aid at the scene, explained McKean, to the Soldiers and Families in attendance.
"These Soldiers did their mission day-in-and-day-out at three miles per hour during their route clearance missions," McKean stated.
Hoglen provided assistance to another injured Soldier and refused to leave the scene of the incident after backup arrived in order to continue providing security, McKean added.
In front of their comrades of the "Iron Knights" Battalion, Hoglen received a Bronze Star Medal, and McKean presented Regan with the Purple Heart and Army Commendation Medals.
"I am just glad we have the opportunity to be here receiving our awards," said Hoglen, who calls Asheville, N.C., his home.
Sgt. Christopher Denham, an armor crewmember assigned to Company C, 1st Bn., 66th Armor Regiment, 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., received a Bronze Star Medal with "V" device after his Humvee struck an EFP in Iraq.
After exiting his burning vehicle, he returned to rescue a wounded comrade, said McKean.
Under heavy small-arms fire he pulled the Soldier from the truck and administered life-saving aid, he added.
Unsatisfied with the wounded Soldier's location, Denham carried the casualty again through small-arms fire and used his body as a battering ram to knock down a brick wall to use for cover and a medical evacuation site, stated McKean.
"Right off the bat I could tell he was a leader of Soldiers," said Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Brundage, a native of Homesdale, Pa., with 19 years service in the military and three combat deployments including Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield in 1991.
"His selfless service by volunteering himself and his crew to go forward and provide security for a group of pinned down infantrymen makes him an amazing Soldier in my book," stated Brundage, who serves as Denham's platoon sergeant with "Crazyhorse" Co.
McKean stated that Denham's actions exemplify what a great Soldier, an Iron Knights Soldier, would do under the same set of circumstances.
Denham hails from Stevinson, Calif.
Date Posted:06.08.2009 12:26
Location:FORT HOOD, TX, US
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