Photo by Spc. Kelly
Rick Thalman was awarded the Bronze Star medal for
meritorious service while in Iraq.
months have gone by since the 1st Armored
Division awarded Bronze Star medals to Soldiers of the 1457th
Engineers while serving in Iraq. Yet, three soldiers did
not receive their Bronze Stars until this last Sunday.
However, the bureaucratic delays that kept these Soldiers
from receiving their awards on-time could not dampen the
spirit in which they were earned or presented.
Class Rick Thalman, the platoon sergeant for Bravo Company,
Second Platoon was awarded the medal on Sunday at Camp
Williams. He was recognized for his service while in
Baghdad Iraq, where he performed outstandingly, and was
instrumental in carrying out every mission assigned to his
platoon. Lt. Col. Jeff Burton, Battalion Commander of the
1457th Engineers, pinned Sgt. 1st
Class Thalman in front of his troops and his wife.
that afternoon at the American Fork armory, two more
soldiers were awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious
service while in Iraq. This time Lt. Col Burton was the
recipient honored along with Capt. Mel Anderson. Their
families looked on with a mix of pride and emotion as the
two men stood in front of their comrades and were awarded
their medals by Brig. Gen. Stanley Gordon, assistant
adjutant general for the Utah Guard.
Anderson served as the Intelligence Officer for the 1457th
Engineer Battalion while in Iraq however,
Photo by Spc. Kelly
Col. Jeff Burton and wife Charn smile while visiting
with troops. Lt. Col. Burton was awarded the
Bronze Star medal for meritorious service while
commanding the 1457th Engineers in Iraq.
was also assigned a number of additional duties. The most
memorable (and the one in which the Bronze Star is based)
involved constructing the headquarters facility for the
newly formed Iraqi Civil Defense Corps. As the project
manager, Capt. Anderson worked daily with local Iraqi
contractors. In the end, not only did he construct a
building, but more importantly, he fostered relationships of
understanding and mutual trust.
Col. Burton earned his Bronze Star by exceeding expectations
(particularly for a National Guard unit) and always
delivering when called upon. The 1457th worked
constantly to support the mission of the 1st
Armored Division. Because of their consistently quick
response time and willingness to always accept and succeed
on difficult missions, the unit was dubbed the 911
battalion. Ask any 1457th Soldier and theyll
tell you that Lt. Col. Burton had everything to do with
Armored Division can be thanked for their untiring efforts
to push the paperwork through to make sure these Soldiers
were congratulated for their sacrifice, time and extra
effort that they contributed to the overall mission in
Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Photo by Utah
Captain Anderson and Lt. Col. Jeff Burton standing
in front of the ICDC in Iraq. Both were
recipients of the Bronze Star Medal for their
actions in Baghdad.