1108 AVCRAD Honored For Service In Iraq - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/10/04

1108 AVCRAD Honored For Service In Iraq

They spent 13 months repairing helicopters and other aircraft used in the war against terror overseas.

Saturday, members of the 1108th AVCRAD were recognized for their help in defending our nation's freedom.

But AVCRAD members say they were just doing their job.

Friends and family looked on as their loved ones received special honors for their bravery and service during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Sergeant Paul Reed was one of four members of the 1108th AVCRAD who was awarded a bronze star at Saturday's ceremony.

He was a humble recipient.

"I feel I was doing my job. Everything I do since I can remember has always been involved in the military, and I just reacted as a soldier should react," said Sgt. Reed.

Sgt. Reed received the Bronze Star for holding off a crowd that was threatening his team during a downed Aircraft Recovery mission in Iraq.

All members of the 1108th played a vital role in the maintenance and repairing of aircraft being used in the conflict overseas.

Chief Warrant Officer Allen Letort was presented with a bronze star for the swift repair work he and his team carried out in Baghdad during the first phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"We had 42 A64s that were shot up from enemy fire. We started working on those aircraft. After the fifth day, within 21 days, we had 32 of those aircraft back flyable and we used them toward the war fight," Letort said.

Some soldiers also received Army Commendation medals.

In all 59 awards were handed out, but General Harold Cross says all members of the 1108th AVCRAD are to be commended.

Major General Harold Cross/Mississippi National Guard: "These 83 people that have gone forward to places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait. And have come back, and have done the hard work of freedom. These are our heroes," said Maj. Gen. Cross.

Staff Sergeants Burt King, Jason Kilpatrick, and Jimmy Touchstone also received bronze stars.

Members of the1108th AVCRAD returned home from Iraq in February.

By: Toni Miles

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