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Patriotic Article
Military

By Army Sgt. Joshua Quick

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Deployed Soldier Gives Back To Supporters In US
(May 6, 2011)

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CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE WARRIOR, Iraq (5/3/2011) – Smiles crossed the faces of students at Kingman Academy in Kingman, Ariz., as their anticipation and excitement finally ended and they put a face to the name. As the door to the auditorium opened, the students watched as a man in an Army uniform entered—a man they did not know by name, but who they thought of as an American Hero. 
Lt. Col. Joseph Holland, commander, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Divison, presents Pfc. Kenneth Johnson with an Army Achievement Medal during an awards ceremony at Contingency Operating Site Warrior in April 2011. Photo by 1st Lt. John McNamara
Lt. Col. Joseph Holland, commander, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Divison, presents Pfc. Kenneth Johnson with an Army Achievement Medal during an awards ceremony at Contingency Operating Site Warrior in April 2011. Photo by 1st Lt. John McNamara
Pfc. Kenneth Johnson, a native of Las Vegas, spent an afternoon with students of Kingman Academy earlier this year discussing the U.S. Army's mission in Iraq during Operation New Dawn.

An intelligence analyst serving with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, Johnson took a day during his environmental morale leave from Iraq to say ‘Thank you' to the people back at home who supported him from afar.

“They took the time to put together care packages and write letters to the soldiers of the battalion, so I wanted to give them something back to let them know their efforts were appreciated,” said Johnson.

During his trip, Johnson presented the students and staff with the flag flown over, 2nd Bn. headquarters at Contingency Operating Site Warrior, Kirkuk, Iraq. He also
gave students 12th Cavalry Regimental crests in appreciation of their continuous efforts to support the “Thunderhorse” Battalion soldiers.

“I asked permission to thank them before I left,” said Johnson. “My chain of command thought it was a great idea and they fully supported it.” 

Johnson spoke to the students about the role and mission the U.S. Army fulfills during Operation New Dawn as American forces continue to advise, train, and assist their Iraqi counterparts as well as the challenges, experiences and realities of being a deployed soldier.

Johnson wrapped up his discussion with a lively question and answer session with the students, capping off his visit.

“They were very excited and [my visit] motivated them to continue to do what they are doing for us,” said Johnson.

Johnson's unit recently recognized his efforts to give back to unit supporters, presenting him with an Army Achievement Medal.

“Throughout the whole experience I felt slightly overwhelmed and prideful to know people at home still care about us,” said Johnson. 

By Army Sgt. Joshua Quick
United States Division-North
Copyright 2011

Provided through DVIDS

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