Maj. Derek P. Bonaldo
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

For many, it may be hard to believe that people volunteer specifically to go to Iraq, given the known dangers and hardship. For Maj. Bonaldo, it was a question of duty and service: "I volunteered to go in part because I had never deployed before... I felt that I needed to step up... [and] I felt I could make a difference." For the fledgling Iraqi police force he helped, his contributions were invaluable.

In 2006, Bonaldo deployed to help train and support Iraqi policemen. As a logistics military advisor with an 11-man Iraqi police transition team, it was Bonaldo's job to advise the Iraqi national police leadership on the logistics of battlefield procedures - including preparation, training, and combat operations. Bonaldo also served as the logistics liaison between the national police and Coalition forces.

During his year in Iraq, Bonaldo worked from bases in Baghdad, Kadhimiy, and Taji. As part of the transition team, he frequently went out on missions with the policemen, oftentimes encountering enemies who attacked with IEDs, small arms, and mortars. Fortunately, Bonaldo's team did not lose anyone.

Upon returning to the United States, Bonaldo said that "the most gratifying part of my deployment was receiving positive feedback from the Iraqi people for how grateful they were for the job we are doing there."

For his work, Bonaldo received the Bronze Star in February 2007.

U.S. Army Cadence: Hard Work!