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    TF Lethal soldiers earn Purple Heart

    TF Lethal soldiers earn Purple Heart

    Courtesy Photo | U.S. Army Maj. Gen. John F. Campbell (left), commanding general of the 101st Airborne...... read more read more



    Story by 1st Lt. Nicholas Rasmussen 

    2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division

    BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew Macke of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Lethal, and U.S. Army Spc. Dane Nelsen of Company D, TF Lethal, were awarded Purple Hearts April 30 and May 2, respectively, at the Heathe N. Craig Joint Theater Hospital on Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan.

    Macke was injured while in the lead vehicle during a mounted combat patrol in Zormat District, Paktya province, Afghanistan, April 27. An improvised explosive device detonated under his truck, fracturing his right foot and left lower leg. The other U.S. soldiers in the vehicle with Macke were not injured, although the blast severely damaged the vehicle.

    “This was the first time in months we haven’t found an IED prior to detonation,” said U.S. Army Capt. Michael Minard, of Bettendorf, Iowa, Macke’s company commander, adding that a locally implemented Guardians of Peace program providing information to coalition and Afghan national security forces has done much to alleviate such explosions.

    U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Warren E. Phipps, Regional Command-East and Combined Joint Task Force-101 assistant division commander-support, presented Macke with his Purple Heart award.

    Receiving the award was an honor, said Macke. "I look forward to reuniting with my brothers from 2nd Platoon, C Company," he said.

    The day after Macke received his award, Nelsen and his platoon were clearing a route near Kowti Kheyl Village, Zormat District, when they received small arms and indirect fire. Nelsen was shot in the leg during the fire-fight and was evacuated to Bagram Air Field.

    No other coalition forces or ANSF soldiers were injured during the fight.

    “We know that there are bad guys in that area,” said U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Joedy Dennis, of Alden, Iowa, Company D’s first sergeant. “This is the first time we’ve taken contact up in there.”

    U.S. Army Maj. Gen. John F. Campbell, Regional Command-East and 101st Airborne Division commander, awarded Nelsen’s Purple Heart.

    “Now it’s just time to recover and get back with my guys who are still risking their lives every day,” said Nelsen.

    Since Nelsen’s injury, Company D completed follow-on operations near Kowti Kheyl, said Dennis.

    “It has proved to be beneficial for us, and we took a lot of [insurgent] assets off the battlefield.”



    Date Taken: 05.02.2011
    Date Posted: 05.08.2011 11:16
    Story ID: 70066
    Location: BAGRAM AIR FIELD, AF 

    Web Views: 726
    Downloads: 2