CALHOUN CITY, Miss. (WTVA) - Members of the Company B, 223rd Engineer Battalion received the Valorous Unit Award for their service during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
While stationed at Camp Warhorse in north-central Iraq the National Guard members performed a number of high-risk duties ranging from mobility to counter mobility, force protection and humanitarian operations.
They did all this while having to make do in a very challenging environment.
"Where they was set up at, there was no logistics change," adds Kenneth Rimmer, retired National Guard. "When we originally arrived, water was scarce. There was no electricity, there was no air conditioning. There wasn't even any hard buildings for them to sleep in. They had to sleep in tents for months."
For the men and women who are comprised of the Company B, 223rd Engineer Battalion, the award that they received here is the second-highest honor for a unit in the military to receive.
"The award that we received [Saturday] lets us know that society recognizes what sacrifices each of them individually made, what was accomplished," adds Rimmer. "They'll keep it. They'll treasure it forever."
For the family members of these National Guard members there is high praise all the way around in regard to the men and women who have served or are still serving.
"I'm proud of all the ones that got the award, all the retired people, all the servicemen," adds Sarah Counce, wife of retired National Guardsman. "Now we pray for all those troops over there. We pray that they'll all come home safely."
Many agree the engineer battalions' motto, "tough as nails, twice as sharp," was exemplified to the best of their ability.
The Valorous Unit Award is considered the unit equivalent of the Silver Star.