Q-West “Wranglers” awarded medals
Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley
15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE Q-WEST, Iraq — More than 100 Soldiers with A Company (Signal) and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 15th Special Troops Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) received end of tour awards May 20 at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation tent here for their work in completing a successful mission.
Brig. Gen. Paul L. Wentz, commander of the 13th SC(E) out of Fort Hood, Texas, personally presented the awards, and Col. Larry Phelps, commander of the 15th Sust. Bde. and a Greenville, Ala., native, gave each Soldier a handshake, a hug and “Wagonmaster” brigade coin.
Before Wentz awarded the medals, Phelps briefly spoke about the accomplishments of the brigade. Accomplishments, he said, were largely due to the Soldiers of the two companies.
Phelps said he searched through records to find a brigade that did more than the 15th Sust. Bde. but did not find one.
“I look at the records and say, ‘Nope, my guys and gals did more than that,’” he said.
Phelps explained that the unit did even more than the support units of Vietnam.
“We cleared the battlefield of 14,000 20-foot containers and didn’t throw any of them off the side of a boat,” he said.
He told the Soldiers that winning was the ability to send Soldiers home and congratulated them for doing well in their mission.
After each Soldier walked across the stage, received their award and shook hands with their leaders, Wentz told the group he was impressed.
He encouraged the Soldiers to thank their spouses for their support and reminded them that deployments are hard for those at home as well.
“Their job on that end is more difficult than ours,” he said. “Please pass on my thanks to them.”
In closing, Wentz spoke of Phelps’ search through the history books.
“I don’t think he’ll find any unit that has done what you have done in such a short amount time.”
Brig. Gen. Paul L. Wentz, commander of the 13th Sustaintment Command (Expeditionary) out of Fort Hood, Texas, speaks to more than 100 Soldiers of A Company (Signal) and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 15th Special Troops Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th SC(E) May 20 at an end of tour awards ceremony in the Morale, Welfare and Recreation tent here. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade public affairs)