By Ann Erickson, MEDDAC Public AffairsNovember 26, 2008
FORT STEWART, GA -- Three Warrior Transition Battalion Soldiers received the Purple Heart in a ceremony held at Winn Army Community Hospital, Fort Stewart, Nov. 20.
Recognizing the three warriors for their service and sacrifice to the nation was a great honor, said Col. Thomas Vandal, 3rd Infantry Division deputy commanding general for support, who awarded the Soldiers with their medals.
The Purple Heart is awarded to servicemembers wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States or as a result of an act of any such enemy or opposing armed forces.
"The Purple Heart is a very special ribbon," said Vandal. "It's probably the most recognized award that our Army has not only has it been around the longest, but you talk to most people whether they are wearing Army ACU's or whether they are outside the Army as civilians, they all recognize the purple heart and what it means."
Purple Heart recipient Staff Sgt. Cypress B. Phipps, a helicopter power plant mechanic, was deployed with the 2/3 Brigade Troops Battalion. On Aug. 1, 2007, Phipps was participating in a route clearance operation when the lead vehicle was directly struck by a command wire improvised explosive device.
"Thank you to my Family for supporting me and everything," said Phipps. "It's been an honor to serve in the greatest Army in the world, and I hope to continue serving the country even though I am retiring."
Staff Sergeant Michael Henning, a military policeman, was deployed with the 549th MP Company. On Dec. 15, 2003 Henning was conducting mounted combat patrols when his squad was ambushed. Henning has since deployed to Iraq two more times following his first deployment in 2003.
"This has been submitted six times by the Army and it finally came through- Resilience," said Henning. "I want to thank my wife because without her I wouldn't be standing here."
Specialist David Talbot, a military policeman, was deployed with the 293d MP Company. On Oct. 29, 2007 Talbot was participating in a patrol operation when the lead vehicle was directly struck by an improvised explosive device.
"I was lucky enough to serve under Staff Sgt. Henning's for a time in the 239d and was grateful for his leadership