Injured contractor receives medal
December 29, 2012
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - The last thing any service member or civilian sets out to do in a combat zone is receive battle related injuries. Unfortunately though, injuries do occur for service members and civilians alike. In lieu of the Purple Heart Medal, civilian contractor Jeffrey Creaser was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, Dec. 28.
July 28, 2010, Creaser was working as a food service supervisor at Forward Operating Base Kalagush, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, and was severaly injured when a rocket landed approximately 10 meters from him. After his slow recovery process, Creaser eventually answered the call once again and returned to Afghanistan working with food service, now at FOB Connolly, Nangarhar Province.
Creaser's award was presented to him by retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. R. Steven Whitcomb, who is now the country manager for the contractor Creaser works for in Afghanistan.
"My first day back in country, there were three rockets that hit Bagram, so it was a little rough my first couple days," said Creaser. "But after that I managed to get back into the swing of things doing what I love, cooking."
In attendance at the award ceremony was U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William C. Mayville Jr., commanding general of Regional Command-East and U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Charles V. Sasser Jr., Regional Command-East's senior enlisted advisor.
The Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom is a decoration established to acknowledge civilian employees of the Department of Defense who are killed or wounded in the line of duty.
Creaser was previously in the U.S. Army as a cook, so it was no surprise he wanted to continue doing what he loved, with whom he loves.
"I love serving with soldiers, and I'm really happy to be awarded here surrounded by soldiers," said Creaser.