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Press Release
February 09, 2005
Sgt. Matt Zedwick of Bend, Ore., received Silver Star from Maj. Gen. Peter Chiarelli
 
This in from Maj. Arnold Strong, Oregon National Guard State Public Affairs Officer who went to Iraq to cover the return of the soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 162 Infantry from the Oregon Army National Guard as they prepare to return home following a highly successful deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
 
Today, we formed for a Division Award Ceremony to present the Silver Star to Sgt. Matthew Zedwick, of Bravo Company, which has been attached to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment ('The Ghost Battalion' once led by both Col Custer and LTC Hal Moore of "We Were Soldiers Once and Young" fame). Major General Pete Chiarelli, the Division Commander, after pinning the award on him, told him, "Young Sir, my father won the Silver Star in World War II, and he was my hero. I am so very honored to be in your presence. I salute you." While it is traditional to salute the officer presenting an award, MG Chiarelli raised his hand in salute to SGT Zedwick. It was a very moving moment for all of those present. The Silver Star is one the highest awards a solder can be awarded, after the Medal of Honor. The write up for the award reads...
 
SGT Zedwick was the driver of the third vehicle, in a four vehicle combat patrol north of Camp Taji when a vehicle borne IED hit and destroyed his HMMWV, killing his gunner and severly wounding the vehicle commander. Despite sustaining extensive wounds himself, SGT Zedwick pulled the truck commander from the flaming vehicle and immediately went back for the gunner. The burning HMMWV subsequently became the target f intense small arms fire. SGT Zedwick instinctively returned to his injured truck commander despite the increasing barrage of enemy fire and insured that he was safely behind cover. With the truck commander's saftey established, SGT Zedwick again ran back thru the enemy's assault to the HMMWV to attempt to retrieve the body of the gunner. Unable to do so, SGT Zedwick retrieved weapons and the radio before rounds started cooking off in the flaming vehicle. Again facing heavy enemy fire, SGT Zedwick returned with the sensitive items and continued to administer aid to the wounded truck commander and defend against the enemy ambush until they were both medically evacuated. SGT Zedwick's actions embody the warrior ethos. His repeated disregard for his own personal safety to ensure the safety of his comrades and the completion of the mission is a testament to his character and bravery. His gallantry in the face of the enemy reflects great credit upon himself, the Ghost Battalion, the First Cavalry Division and the United States Army.
 
Thanks for your role in telling this extraordinary story.
From Camp Cooke (Taji), Iraq,
Major Arnold Strong
 
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Contact:

Capt Mike Braibish 503-584-3886, cell 503-932-5805
Kay Fristad 503-584-3917, cell 503-931-5179