(For my Facebook readers, please click the “view original post” link below to see pics properly.)
I was JUST blogging about how cool it was for me to be able to award the Army Combat Action Badge to Soldiers from our Provincial Reconstruction Team. (Read yesterday’s post if you missed it.) It was a great experience for me, and I was happy to recognize deserving Soldiers.
So, how ironic was it that the very next day, I had another chance to touch the Combat Action Badge … But this time, I was the recipient!
We were practicing for our Transfer of Authority ceremony, scheduled to occur tomorrow when the new PRT takes over. After the ceremony practice was over, our commander asked us to stick around for a few minutes. Then he called us to attention in a formation, and we were surprised to actually receive the award.
Aside from the Army Combat Action Badge, we also received our end-of-tour awards. These are awards that are usually based on performance in your primary job (In my case, Information Operations and Public Affairs.)
In this picture, an Army colonel from the 82nd Airborne is presenting me with my end-of-tour award.
I earned the Bronze Star. In my 19+ years of service, it’s the highest award I’ve ever earned. (In order of precedence, it’s below the Distinguished Flying Cross, but above the Purple Heart.)
I feel a bit like a hypocrite, because all through the deployment, I kept telling myself (and my mother) that the only award I really wanted was the proper use of my fingers and toes. (I used to have a catchphrase … whenever someone asked me how I was doing, I’d reply: “I’ve got my fingers, toes and the one that grows, so I’m okay!”)
But I can’t lie … I’m glad I have something I can pass on to my son. I know there will be a time when he won’t want to listen to my military stories anymore. But, if I’m lucky, he’ll want to remember them when I’m gone.
Maybe these awards will help.