By Sgt. Serena Hayden, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public AffairsOctober 26, 2007
BAQOUBA, Iraq Aca,!" Gathered in formation at a combat outpost in Baqouba, Iraq, Soldiers from Aca,!A"BoneAca,!A? Company, 1-12 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, stood tall, reflecting on their deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08.
This outpost has been their home Aca,!" a home without the amenities of a Forward Operating Base, a home where success and accomplishment flourished. And on this Wednesday, they gathered to receive awards for those accomplishments Aca,!" a small token of appreciation for all they achieved.
For many Soldiers in the company, it was their first time together in a while as each platoon has had a different mission all year.
Aca,!A"This is the first time weAca,!a,,cve had to reflect on our experiences from this past year as a company,Aca,!A? said Capt. Mark Austin, Company B commander. Aca,!A"A lot of the guys have been able to celebrate the past year Aca,!" not only the guys weAca,!a,,cve lost and the guys who went home early, but all weAca,!a,,cve accomplished.Aca,!A?
The Soldiers of Bone Company have had a challenging mission in Diyala province, focusing largely on the provincial capital of Baqouba Aca,!" a city that CNNAca,!a,,cs Arwa Damon dubbed Aca,!A"the most dangerous city in Iraq,Aca,!A? in February.
Today, because of the hard work of the 1-12 Aca,!A"ChargerAca,!A? Battalion as they partnered with Soldiers from the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, the city is alive and thriving. What used to be a ghost town filled with small-arms fire, complex attacks and improvised explosive devices is now filled with families going to and from work, children going to school and markets lining the streets.
Aca,!A"Forever, the 1.6 million people of Diyala and Baqouba will appreciate the actions of Bone and Charger,Aca,!A? said Col. David W. Sutherland, commander of the Aca,!A"GreywolfAca,!A? Brigade Combat Team. Aca,!A"When you ask yourself what you accomplished, look around at the city and realize you are somebody.
Aca,!A"And if you donAca,!a,,ct think you made a difference, you come see me and I will lay out a whole lot more,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"I am proud of each of you and your accomplishments.Aca,!A?
As the ceremony continued, each Soldier received their end of tour awards, while others were also presented awards for valorous acts, purple hearts, combat infantryman badges and combat medical badges for their efforts in Baqouba.
Aca,!A"The Soldiers in my company are an inspiration to me,Aca,!A? Austin said. Aca,!A"To see them all together, look them in the eyes individually and just say Aca,!Eoethank you,Aca,!a,,c meant a lot.Aca,!A?
Aca,!A"There is greatness in this formation,Aca,!A? Sutherland said. Aca,!A"And that greatness is achieved by the non-commissioned officers who run this Brigade, the officers who ensure the procedures are in place, and the Soldiers who are the means to support and improve a population.Aca,!A?
Aca,!A"When the next unit comes in and asks what they need to bring,Aca,!A? Sutherland said, Aca,!A"IAca,!a,,cm going to tell them, Aca,!EoeIt has already been brought.Aca,!a,,cAca,!A?