An Old Error Corrected
He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his service as commander of operations at FOB Salerno in Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom V (2004-2005). Well deserved and way late.
I had asked our overall Task Force commander, back in March 2005 when we would see our people from Salerno get their awards. The half blank, half panicked look I got told me that something had gone wrong. Unfortunately I was right. The Prop's award submission didn't get made timely. Needless to say I was a bit pissed off, and the Prop was disappointed. Here was the guy that (with his invaluable right hand man - yes, you CPT Webb, and indominitable NCOIC - the now CSM Beck) ran the toughest place we had responsibility for. They won the "rocket cup" by having 94 rockets, of the 122mm variety, fired into them. The 1/501 Parachute Infantry Regiment called him a "warfighter" - not too bad, hmmm?
The same sort of thing continues to this day - we have a signal unit that is being incorporated into our headquarters, and the faces of NCOs from that unit light up like the sun when they see the Prop for the first time at HQ. It may have been years since they served with him, but they haven't forgotten him.
Oh, and there was a Brigadier General on hand to pin his medal on... and when this General says something to the effect of "good job, son", he isn't just speaking generalese - he means it literally. How fantastic is that, to have your father, a retired Brigadier General pin your Bronze Star on you?
"Way to go, son!"
The whole Prop family was on hand too. Wife, kids, siblings (including the Navy NCO on the right) were all there to see it.
"Hey, we are ALL proud of him!"
I am grateful to the CDR of the 108th SBDE for putting his boot into the rear end of the process, so to speak. Also, a fun fact: The Order for the BSM was signed by LTG Honore - of "stuck on stupid" fame...