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Minnesota National Guard
2-136 Receives Awards Upon Return

FT MCCOY, WIS JULY 21, 2007 -- There is no questioning the accomplishments of Bravo Company, 2/136 Infantry In their former stomping grounds of Fallujah, Iraq they apprehended more than 75 insurgents and Al Qaeda operatives, rescued captured personnel and conducted hundreds of patrols Although the Soldiers' biggest reward was returning home, several Soldiers were further recognized for their efforts on Saturday at Fort McCoy, Wis

The company received more than 30 medals for their efforts from February, 2006 until their return just a few short days ago Among them were five Bronze Star Medals, seven Purple Heart Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, seven Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and six Combat Infantry Badges

In attendance was Sgt John Kriesel, who lost his legs to an Improvised Explosive Device December 2, 2006, while on a patrol near Fallujah

"I felt like one of the guys again," he said after the awards ceremony Kriesel was reunited briefly with his company three days ago, as they landed at Volk Field, Wis Being with them, and surrounded by them in formation, was something he was looking forward to again

"It was nice being with them, standing in formation with them again," he said "This is the best company in the brigade and you can tell with all the awards they handed out today"

During the ceremony, Kriesel was awarded the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Badge At Kriesel's request, President George W Bush Jr previously awarded him the Purple Heart at Walter Reed Medical Center in December “I told them I want to meet the president,” said Kriesel “That was back when I was in ICU, and the nurses thought I was joking But I told them, ‘No, I’m serious I want to meet the president!’ On my MySpace page, under the ‘who I’d like to meet’ category, I have two people; President Bush and Randy Moss”

Kriesel was honored by all the recognition, both from his battalion and from the awards
"It would be nice to earn the recognition in a different way, but I will take it"

By Sgt Daryl G Sanford

July 21, 2-136 Infantry Award Ceremony photo gallery

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