By Spc. Melissa ChurchApril 23, 2010
Eighteen Soldiers in 2nd Battalion, 87nd Infantry Regiment received recognition April 12 at Magrath Gym for their efforts during the unit's most recent deployment to Afghanistan.
Three Soldiers received the Purple Heart Medal for being injured in combat. Fifteen Soldiers received an Army Commendation Medal with Valor, for meritorious service while deployed.
Fifteen Soldiers were given special recognition for their achievements because their actions during deployment went above and beyond the call of duty, resulting in an ARCOM with "Valor Device."
The ARCOM is awarded to Soldiers who distinguish themselves by heroic actions, outstanding achievement or meritorious service. The "V" Device is awarded as a decoration on a received award recognizing a valorous act during direct combat.
"Two of my Soldiers went down, they had to be (medically evacuated) out of the Chalk Valley," said Staff Sgt. Bobbie Martin, platoon sergeant with 3rd Platoon, Company D, on how he earned his ARCOM with Valor. "As we were trying to treat them, we were coming under heavy fire. They were wounded pretty badly, so me, the medic and a few of my Soldiers covered their bodies with our bodies so they wouldn't take any more direct hits."
Actions of 2-87 Infantry Soldiers went above and beyond what was expected of them to complete the mission and protect their fellow Soldiers. Despite the honor given to these 15 Soldiers, they remained modest about their accomplishments.
"You don't go out there to get recognized for being valorous," Martin said. "You go out there to do a valorous job. Being recognized is pretty great, but I'd rather have my Soldiers than have an award."
Three Soldiers received the Purple Heart for being injured during combat in Afghanistan.
"Our truck was pulling another truck when it was hit by an improvised explosive device," said Spc. Daniel Scheiderer, grenadier with 2nd Platoon, Company B, describing how he received his injury. "When I got to Bagram Air Base, they told me I had broken my neck and back."
Many 2-87 Infantry Soldiers were seriously injured during the deployment, and still they maintain a positive attitude and a readiness to complete their mission.
Despite the fact that Purple Heart veterans are revered by many people, Soldiers like Scheiderer simply regret being injured and leaving their comrades before they could complete their mission.
Many of the wounded Soldiers recovered from their injuries and returned to their unit.
"It feels good to be around the guys again, to be able to joke and not see all the despair that you see in a hospital," Scheiderer said.