Transporters honored with St. Christopher award
July 29, 2009
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - Seven transporters received the military order of Saint Christopher award here July 9.
One 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Transportation Corps Soldier received the Ancient Order and six others received the honorable version for their outstanding service and dedication to the transportation branch. The awards are given to distinguished members of the transportation branch.
"It is my pleasure to be here to recognize this group of transporters," said Brig. Gen. Michael J. Lally, 3d ESC commanding general. "They are a part of the distinguished Army Transportation Corps that also represents Army Core Values."
The 3d ESC moves millions of gallons of fuel and bottles of water around this theater because of transporters like the ones being recognized today, Lally said.
"I feel pride that I'm being recognized by my profession by receiving this award," said Lt. Col. Christopher D. Hardin, distribution manager center chief for the 3d ESC. "It means a lot to us that such a distinguished transporter like General Lally is here to present the awards."
Hardin received the Ancient Order, which is the more distinguished of the two awards. He loves working in transportation because it is always different, he said. He added that transporters can work with ships, trains, planes and trucks.
"There is a sense of satisfaction when you take a large convoy from one place and deliver it another," Hardin said. "I love bringing a convoy in - it's like bringing a herd in - it's great and I love doing the job."
The Transportation Corps was formed in 1942 and in 1998 the Army instituted the order of St. Christopher medal to recognize outstanding transporters.
St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers and motorists. Lally told the story of St. Christopher to the audience during the award presentation and explained how the image of St. Christopher was a fitting symbol of strength, loyalty and safety for transporters charged with moving the force.
The recipients of the order of the Saint Christopher award were:
Lt. Col. Chris D. Hardin, distribution management center chief and resident of Elizabeth, Tenn.
Lt. Col. David Cook, mobility branch chief and resident of Gaffney, S.C.
Maj. Gary M. Wehrle, land mobility chief and resident of Paintlick, Ky.
Capt. Carey W. Menifee, mobility plans chief and resident of Cincinnati, Ohio
Warrant Officer two James Hamilton, mobility officer and resident of Edmon, Okla.
Master Sgt. Jeremiah Ousley, distribution integration noncommissioned officer in charge and resident of Union Springs, Ala.
Sgt. 1st Class Jose R. Reyes-Lopez, senior movement NCO and native of Jayuya, Puerto Rico
Call out box:
The story of St. Christopher says that he was a large man who helped people cross a dangerous river. When carrying a child across the river the child got very heavy and Christopher could hardly make it across.
When he finally reached the other side, he said to the child: "You have put me in the greatest danger. I do not think the whole world could have been as heavy on my shoulders as you were." The child revealed himself to be Jesus Christ and explained that Christopher had carried the world's sin on his shoulders.