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    1-502nd Infantryman awarded CIB, Purple Heart

    1-502nd Infantryman awarded CIB, Purple Heart

    Photo By Master Sgt. Kap Kim | Although the extent of U.S. Army Spc. Dalton Trimble’s injuries is not visible, he...... read more read more



    Story by Master Sgt. Kap Kim 

    Combined Joint Task Force 10

    BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – On a long stretch of what they have always known to be a safe route, a suicide bomber detonated his vehicle near a U.S. Army convoy that sent an MRAP and crew flying into the air.

    “Honestly, I thought I was going to die that day,” recalled U.S. Army Spc. Dalton Trimble, an infantryman with Company A, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), from Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

    Trimble, who was on his first deployment, served as the gunner for that mission Aug. 24, 2014.

    “I ended up getting thrown out of the gunner’s seat … I was just lying there,” said Trimble. “They started opening fire on us, so I jumped up, ran in the truck and started asking for a rifle ‘til help arrived.”

    After the blast, his vehicle started rolling off the road; others in his vehicle would sustain much more severe injuries, but Trimble was lucky and only received superficial wounds … or so he thought. The ringing in his ear didn’t seem to subside. Upon his return to Forward Operating Base Fenty, Trimble found out that he had injures to his ears.

    The extensive injury that impaired his hearing would earn the 20-year-old from Danville, Illinois the Purple Heart Medal, but also cut his combat deployment short.

    Hours before his departure from Afghanistan, in a conference room with his platoon at FOB Fenty video teleconferenced in, the Combined Joint Task Force-10 and Regional Command-East Commander U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Stephen Townsend and Command Sgt. Maj. Ray Lewis presented him with the Purple Heart Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge at the RC-East Headquarters Aug. 29, 2014. Trimble, and others from his unit, earned the CIB in May during a patrol in Nangarhar province that ended in a firefight with enemy combatants.

    “This is something I never expected – ever … it was shocking; I didn’t expect anything big like this,” he said about the award ceremony from the commanding general and command sergeant major. “I always joked around about getting a Purple Heart for promotion points … just jokingly. As I look back, it’s like wow; I can’t believe our convoy actually got hit. It was just so shocking.”

    Trimble never lost consciousness and remembered every detail in vivid detail. He noticed how even the guys who were also on their first deployment just did what they have been trained to do and immediately pulled security around their position.

    “Our medic, he ran up to us instantly – straight to the vehicle and started working on our [platoon leader] … all the senior guys came and started checking us, patting us all down, messing with our eyes – making sure we were OK and gave us cover.”

    Trimble, during his speech after the award presentation, praised this leadership and thanked them for teaching him to do the “right thing” on that objective.

    “Can’t thank everyone enough while I was there … thank you guys,” he said.

    For Sgt. 1st Class Justin Richardson, who is Trimble’s platoon sergeant, losing a Soldier of “high caliber” is tough on the rest of squad and platoon, but he is proud of Trimble and of the rest of his guys who acted quickly during the VBIED attack.

    “As a platoon sergeant, I’m extremely proud of how they all performed,” Richardson said. “All the guys performed above and beyond that day … they knew what to do and executed quickly which made the evacuation fast.”

    When Trimble was medically evacuated back to FOB Fenty, he was taken to the hospital and after a thorough examination; he was released back to his unit. While in his room, he worried about the two team members who had more severe injuries. Later, he wondered if the ringing in his ears would ever stop.

    “It was getting really annoying,” he said.

    Yet, he said the event has opened his eyes to just how lucky he and his guys were that day, and for him, he will start appreciating the positive things in life and stop dwelling on “negative stuff.”

    When he called his family back home, the scrappy southpaw who learned to be tough in the boxing ring as a teenager, kept reassuring his family that he was all right.

    “For them, it was probably really emotional because they were worried, but for me, I just tried to calm them down,” he said. “I kept saying, ‘hey, it’s all right; I’m fine – I’m alive.’”

    Upon his return to his home base at Fort Campbell, his parents, aunts and uncles and siblings will treat him to a hero’s welcoming party; it’s something he’s looking forward to, but the proud infantryman said he will miss his guys and their mission.

    “I won’t miss the VBIEDs,” he joked about vehicle borne improvised explosive devices.

    The only other thing he’ll miss is the “adrenaline rush” that he experienced during his combat deployment.

    “It’s probably the greatest feeling in the world,” he said. “You don’t feel like you have any weight to you; you feel invincible.”

    Although Trimble’s combat days are behind him, for the moment, he’s come to learn a few things – learning the biggest rule: to always be alert and to never take anything at face value.

    “I guess you just really can’t get complacent,” he said. “You just have to pay attention where ever.”

    The others who were medically evacuated that day are said to be recovering from their injuries.



    Date Taken: 08.29.2014
    Date Posted: 08.30.2014 10:07
    Story ID: 140847
    Location: AF
    Hometown: DANVILLE, IL, US

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