MPs receive awards for valor
December 6, 2011
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (Dec. 6, 2011) -- The 504th Military Police Battalion, 42nd Military Police Brigade, held an award ceremony here today to present the unit with a Meritorious Unit Award and to recognize 13 Soldiers of the 504th MP Battalion who received awards for service, valor, for injures suffered in combat, and for saving the life of a military dependent while on patrol.
The awards were related to the 504th Military Police Battalion, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment and the 170th Military Police Company for their deployment to Afghanistan from June 2010 to June 2011.
Six Soldiers of the 170th MP Co. were awarded the Purple Heart Medals for injuries suffered March 7, 2010, while conducting dismounted clearing operations in Kandahar City, Afghanistan, after an improvised explosive device, or IED, detonated.
"We were clearing an alleyway when the IED went off," said Staff Sgt. Christina A. Holcomb, instructor, Non-Commissioned Officer Academy, JBLM. "I was 50 meters away and the blast threw me backward. I am proud to be receiving a Purple Heart, but I'm happy that I can sit here and talk to you and that I have all of my limbs. I was very fortunate."
Holcomb sustained a concussion, whip lash, and shrapnel to her arm causing temporary paralysis of her bicep and triceps.
Along with Holcomb, Sgt. Jeramie Larson, Spc. Geoffrey Correa, Spc. Mathew R. Dahl, Spc Nicholas R. Klein and Sgt. Jacob L. Wilson also were awarded the Purple Heart Medals for injuries sustained during the blast.
Four Soldiers received awards for valorous acts on the battlefield. Maj. Chad Froehlich, Capt. Andrew Sergent, 1st Lt. Robert Colman and Sgt. Jeramie Larson were awarded the Army Commendation Medal with Valor for their acts of heroism while defending against a complex attack by insurgents during their deployment.
"A hero cannot be a hero unless in a heroic world," said Col. Robert M. Taradash, commander, 42nd Military Police Brigade, quoting Nathaniel Hawthorne, "and be surrounded by heroes."
Larson was wounded with shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade during the attack and continued to call up reports and direct his squad in spite of his injuries, said Master Sgt. Marvin E. Locket, Provost Sergeant, JBLM.
Locket, the 170th MP Co. First Sergeant during their deployment, noted that Larson actions saved the lives of the Soldiers in his squad.
1st Lt. Jeffery Moyer, Sgt. 1st. Class Clint Butler and Sgt 1st Class Eddie Vader were awarded the Bronze Star Medal for their superior actions and leadership throughout the deployment.
"The mission required very special Soldiers to do it and these Soldiers were the ones that did it," said Lockett.
An Army commendation Medal was awarded to Staff Sgt. Robert J. Green for saving the life of a military dependent while on patrol here, when the dependent attempted suicide.
The 504th Military Police Battalion's mission in garrison is training Military Police to deploy and conduct combat support operations home and abroad, while providing law enforcement support to JBLM.