Schilling Presents Area Hero with Combat Action Badge PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Monday, 19 March 2012 12:12

Moline, Illinois – Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) today presented constituent Mark Graves of Aledo with the Combat Action Badge for his service with the United States Army Military Police in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“It is truly an honor to be presenting the Combat Action Badge to one of our area’s distinguished war heroes,” Schilling said.  “My deepest gratitude goes out to Mark for his service in safeguarding our nation and protecting our freedoms.”

Graves entered Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training at the United States Army Military Police School in July 1999.  After finishing training with the United States Army Military Police, he deployed to Iraq and served with the 64th Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade from March 2003-2004.

During his time in Iraq serving as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Graves’ Military Police unit was engaged in some of the most hazardous duty in Iraq, including convoy escorts, manning check-points frequently attacked by insurgents, town, and village patrols, road security to prevent improvised explosive devices from being planted, and the processing of prisoners of War.  His unit was frequently assigned to support various infantry units on operations throughout Iraq, from Baghdad to Tikrit, and was involved in at least seven combat engagements with anti-coalition forces.  During one engagement, Graves’ High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV, or Humvee) took a direct hit from a rocket-propelled grenade.

During Graves’ service he was awarded the Joint Services Achievement Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; and the Overseas Service Ribbon.  The one award that eluded him was the Combat Action Badge, which is awarded to soldiers who personally engage or are engaged by the enemy.

Schilling’s staff started on this case in early August, 2011 when Graves reached out upon receiving a mailer on services Schilling’s staff provides.  After tracking down the necessary documentation, staff was able to meet the Army’s Combat Action Badge requirements by early January, 2012.

“Constituent casework is the most important part of my job and we will continue to work tirelessly towards successful outcomes,” Schilling said.  “I encourage anyone having issues navigating federal agencies to contact my offices – we’re happy to help.”

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