Paratroopers pin on combat badges in Iraq
February 12, 2009
FORWARD OPERATING BASE LOYALTY, Iraq - Multi-National Division-Baghdad Paratroopers were recognized for actions in combat during a ceremony at Forward Operating Base Loyalty Feb 5.
Seven Paratroopers assigned to Company D, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division were awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge for their actions when enemy forces attacked their squad Jan. 10.
Lt. Col. Louis Zeisman, commander of the 2nd Bn., 505th Parachute Inf. Regt., told his men that these awards are something they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
"What makes this special is that they are being presented to you in Iraq and among fellow Paratroopers," said the Fayetteville, N.C. native. "You will never forget this night and wear this award with pride."
On Jan. 10, in the New Baghdad district of eastern Baghdad, Paratroopers of Co. D were conducting a joint patrol with their Iraqi Security Force partners when an improvised explosive device struck the patrol's lead vehicle. The explosion instantly killed the squad's leader, Staff Sgt. Justin Bauer.
After the explosion, the group began taking fire from a nearby building. Paratroopers quickly reacted to the attack and began firing back and closing in on the building.
Spc. Joseph Pena, a native of San Diego, Calif., was one of seven Paratroopers to receive the award. The infantryman said it was an honor to receive the award, but he felt humbleness about the achievement.
"It is an honor just to be lumped in with guys from the past who have been awarded this," said Pena. "But this badge was given to us because we knew our job that night. The CIB is just a representation of that."
Along with the seven CIB recipients, two Paratroopers also received combat awards; one Soldier the Combat Medical Badge and the other the Combat Action Badge.
Col. Timothy McGuire, 3rd BCT, 82nd Abn. Div., commander, was on hand to pin the badges on each Paratrooper. He concluded the ceremony by thanking all those in attendance for their service to the people of the U.S. and Iraq.