JOINT SECURITY STATION DOURA, Iraq - Staff Sergeant Bryce Turner, Spc. John Burns and Pfc. Jordan Colvin, 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, stood proudly in front of their brother-in-arms as they were honored for their selfless service and courage in the face of adversity, during a Combat Awards ceremony held at Joint Security Station Doura, Iraq, March 30.

More than 50 members of the squadron, the Raider Brigade command group, and United States Division - Center Commanding General Maj. Gen. Terry A. Wolff and Command Sgt. Maj. William Johnson traveled to the remote location for the ceremony.

The ceremony began with solemn narration. The Purple Heart is an American Decoration, the oldest military decoration in present use and the first American award made available to the common Soldier. It is awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action.

"The medals and badges you bear are marks of distinction, signifying your membership in an elite group of American heroes who have answered the call and shed blood for freedom's cause," said Lt. Col. Kirk C. Dorr, commander of 5/7 Cav., as he addressed the men posted before the troop formation.

There were three Soldiers directly engaged by the enemy in the attack that occurred March 3 - Staff Sgt, Bryce Turner, Spc. John Burns and Spc. Matthew Corlew. Specialist Corlew has not returned to duty and therefore could not attend the ceremony; he is currently receiving premier medical treatment and recovering from his injuries at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. His life was saved by the immediate care provided by Pfc. Jordan Colvin, who was awarded the Combat Medical Badge for his actions. The strength exhibited by Spc. Corlew in recovery and the bravery demonstrated that fateful day by the Soldiers involved is reflective of the professionalism and discipline of the unit, said Lt. Col. Dorr.

"Today, we affirm that your heroic deeds will never be forgotten," said Lt. Col. Dorr. "The proof can be found in the ballot boxes and the emerging democracy of Iraq, where a free people will decide their future without fear of prison, torture or worse from brutal dictators."

As the ceremony drew to a close, the attendees moved forward to congratulate and thank the three Soldiers for their dedication and continued service.