Badges of Honor

  Baghdad, Iraq 2009—82nd Airborne paratroopers of Company D were…

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Baghdad, Iraq 2009—82nd Airborne paratroopers of Company D were conducting a joint patrol in the New Bagdad district of Eastern Baghdad, Iraq with their Iraq Security Force partners when an IED struck the patrol’s lead vehicle. The explosion instantly killed SSgt. Justin Bauer, the squad’s leader.

After the explosion, the unit began receiving fire from a nearby building. The soldiers returned fire as they closed in on the enemy’s building and killed their attackers.

For their actions under fire, seven paratroopers were awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge in a ceremony at a Forward Operating Base Loyalty the following month.

“It is an honor just to be lumped in with guys from the past who have been awarded this,” said Spc. Joseph Pena. “But this badge was given to us because we knew our job that night. The CIB is just a representation of that.”

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