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Seven receive Purple Heart award
Bravery honored
AW 3BatPurpleHearts
Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division’s 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team prepare to sing the 3rd Infantry Division song after receiving their Purple Heart awards Tuesday. - photo by Photo by Andrea Washington

3-69 Soldiers Receive Purple Hearts

Seven members of the 3rd Infantry Division's 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team receive Purple Heart awards.

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Seven members of the 3rd Infantry Division’s 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team received Purple Heart medals during a ceremony inside Fort Stewart’s Moon Theater Tuesday evening.
A crowd of family, friends and other well-wishers filled the auditorium as the battalion’s commander, Lt. Col. Michael Silverman, pinned each soldier and thanked the wounded warriors for their service.
“I’d first like to tell you that it is my honor to command you,” he said, “and to tell you how much your brothers in the field miss you.”
The battalion members each suffered separate wounds, but Silverman said they all shared in the common bond of turning around an Iraqi city deemed the most dangerous city in the world by the CIA in 2006.
“The city of Ramadi is now safer than the Green Zone. There have been stretches of 15 or more days with zero attacks. There’s not been an (improvised explosive device) attack in Ramadi since May,” he said, adding there have also been improvements in the cleanliness of the city.
Touching on the current debate over whether the slow progress in Iraq is worth the cost of U.S. troops continuing to put their lives on the line, the battalion commander said no soldier’s time in Iraq has been in vain.

“I’m sure that in the time since I saw most of you, you’ve asked yourself if it was worth it. The American people are asking themselves and our government if it’s worth it,” Silverman said. “But the sacrifices you’ve made, the sacrifices of our brave fallen brothers are not for nothing.”
Here’s who received Purple Hearts Tuesday:
- Pfc. Stephen Alexander, A CO 3-69 AR
- Pfc. Dustin Bohannon, HHC 3-69 AR
- Pfc. Ryan Dykstra, B CO 3-69 AR
- Pfc. Robert Rawls, A CO 3-69 AR
- Pfc. Travis Koch, C CO 2-7 IN, Task Force 3-69
- Spc. Jarrod Pounds, HHC 3-69 AR
- Staff Sgt. Raul Otero, A CO 3-69
The Purple Heart is the oldest military declaration in use and was the first American award made available to the common soldier.
It is awarded to U.S. armed forces members who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of an enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those are killed in action or died from wounds received in action.

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