CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo—On March 8, 2021, Sgt. Spenser Sharp and Spc. Cole Magnuson, Iowa Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Kilo 18 Liaison Monitoring Team, Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, were recognized by Col. Derek Adams, RC-E commander, for going above and beyond their duties when they stopped to help move a car on their way back from a mission on December 11, 2020.
While passing through Gjilan/Gnjilane on the way back to Camp Bondsteel, Sharp and Magnuson pulled over when they saw a car burning in a parking lot. They stopped to help civilians move the car next to it to prevent it from catching fire.
“It’s really important for the Army and KFOR to show that we’re here to help no matter what our mission is or what is going on,” Sharp said. “We will stop and take time out of our day to help people in need.”
Sharp and Magnuson’s act of selfless service demonstrated what it means to live the Army values.
“It’s an indicator of the great work all our Soldiers in RC-E do on a daily basis,” said Adams, who presented the Soldiers Ryder Brigade coins. “They don’t shy away from emergencies or danger. They showed selfless service as well as care and compassion for others.”
Sharp and Magnuson are both from Sioux City, Iowa, where they're normally assigned to Company D, 334th Brigade Support Battalion, which serves 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment.
While deployed in support of KFOR, their primary mission as LMTs is to interact with the people of Kosovo to maintaining a safe and secure environment.
“Our mission is to talk to the people of the area, but we’re also here to show our presence,” Magnuson said. “Doing that shows we actually care about the people and we’re not just here for the job.”
Leaders presenting coins is a time-honored tradition used to recognize Soldiers who demonstrate excellence. But for Sharp and Magnuson, their response to stop and help was natural.