Medals Awarded To Kilgore Guardsmen - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

05/08/08-Longview

Medals Awarded To Kilgore Guardsmen

Just returned from Iraq, Bravo company -3rd battalion- 144th infantry of Kilgore was decorated today for their service. The ceremony was filled with military tradition, and the honors were given with hundreds of family and friends of the Kilgore guardsmen looking on.

"It's important for us to show these young men and women how much we appreciate their service for our country. Without them we don't know where we'd be. Thank God, they're home" says troop supporter Ann Delaet.

"...It's great to be home, it's nice to see community support and how they treat us as we return," says 144th infantry sergeant Homer Teague.

They just returned from Iraq yesterday, and out of 125 soldiers, over 80 Army achievement service medals and over a dozen meritorious service medals were awarded.  And 7 soldiers received bronze stars for bravery.

"Being awarded the bronze star is a very big honor, but it's nothing that the other guys couldn't have done. We all deserve it," says bronze star recipient sergeant Randall Pemberton.

Texas units, wearing the traditional T-patch, have fought from WWII, Vietnam, to Desert Storm, to Iraq. And their honors today were appreciated.

"It's magnificent all these people here are here to welcome us home builds a lot of pride, it just makes you feel real good about doing your job," says specialist Gary Markham.

The final company from the 144th infantry division serving in Iraq landed in Georgia today. All of the 144th is now home.

Bob Hallmark reporting/bhallmark@kltv.com

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