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Minnesota National Guard
Convoy driver disregards injuries to ensure safety of his passengers

CAMP ADDER, Iraq – A Minnesota Army National Guard Soldier is being considered for a Bronze Star Medal with Valor for his actions during an attack on his convoy in Iraq last summer

Spc Gregory Brown was a convoy driver with Company B, 682nd Engineer Battalion, a unit based in Willmar, Minn On June 16, 2006, his convoy team – call sign “Earthpig 36” – was escorting a group of supply trucks across Iraq

Brown of Litchfield, Minn, was driving a 5-ton gun truck in the scout position ahead of the convoy when a roadside bomb detonated on the right side of the road, according to a written narrative of the event Shrapnel from the explosion wounded all three occupants – the gunner mortally
The ballistic glass of the passenger-side window was struck by shrapnel, spraying glass fragments inside the cab, pieces of which became embedded in Brown’s face and both eyes Brown avoided potentially mortal wounds when shrapnel from the bomb passed in front of his chest, according to the statement He was, however, struck on both forearms, making the use of his hands nearly impossible

Despite his injuries and temporary blindness, Brown managed to maintain control of his vehicle, keeping it centered on the road and bringing it from a speed of more than 40 mph to a controlled stop without further incident, according to the statement

“Spc Brown did a fantastic job maintaining control of his vehicle after being hit,” wrote Staff Sgt Brandon Kottke, who was part of the convoy and witnessed the detonation from several hundred meters behind “He fought through his injuries and the pain and focused on the safety of everyone else”

By 1/34th BCT Public Affairs
18 April, 2007






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Posted: 2017-03-10  08:50 AM
Vessey Bust LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.

The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.



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Posted: 2017-03-08  03:29 PM
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As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.



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