By Spc. Samuel J. PhillipsMarch 28, 2008
During battlefield circulation March 20, Lt. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commanding general, Multi-National Corps - Iraq, presented Pvt. Erick Rodiguez, a medic with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, a Bronze Star Medal with Valor device at Forward Operating Base Kalsu.
Rodriguez earned the medal for his actions in combat Dec. 12, when without regard for his own injuries or safety, he provided medical care to injured Soldiers after an improvised explosive device hit his vehicle.
Austin also recognized the rest of the Soldiers in the unit for exceptional performance during their tours of duty. "It is one thing to be recognized by someone who doesn't know what you do," he said, "but it is something entirely different to be recognized by your peers."
As Austin continued his battlefield circulation, he arrived at Jurf as Sakr where he was greeted by Soldiers operating in the area. He recognized the Soldiers from 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, for outstanding performance, visited the construction site of the town's new city hall and spoke with local shop owners and the local police chief.
On the last stop of the day's battlefield circulation, Combat Outpost Carver, Austin discussed the security, governance, and economics of the area with the leaders of 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. "Things have gotten better and continue to get better," he said.
Austin also heard from local leaders about the successes and challenges in their communities. "We have gotten a lot of help from the Sons of Iraq," Austin told Sheik Ali, leader of a Salman Pak Sons of Iraq group. "We are grateful for the way you blend with our Soldiers in helping to establish security in this region."
Austin praised the Soldiers who serve at COP Carver. "You guys are part of a great legacy," he said. "I am proud of you and glad to serve alongside of you. You are a making a significant contribution to this country and to the United States of America."