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Ky. Guard Members Honored For Iraq Heroism; Awarded Medals

CARLISLE, KY -- Six Kentucky National Guard members were given medals at a lunch ceremony Saturday at the Carlisle Armory, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader in its Sunday edition.

Kentucky National Guard members 1st Lt. R.J. Hill, Sgt. Michael Cepeda and Spec. John Netherton were presented the Bronze Star Medal for valor shown during their unit's deployment in Iraq. The award is the fourth-highest combat award of the U.S. Armed Forces, reports the newspaper.

In September 2007, a gun truck in their convoy was hit with an explosive. Hill, Cepeda and Netherton helped protect the rest of the convoy and evacuate wounded soldiers from the truck. Cepeda and Netherton were wounded themselves.

The soldiers, with Bravo Battery, 2/138th Field Artillery, were deployed to Taji, Iraq, in June 2007 for convoy security and returned in May of this year.

Staff Sgt. Justin Jones and Sgt. Eric Conkright were given the Soldier's Medal, which is awarded by the Army for acts of heroism in the saving of life. They evacuated two soldiers from inside an overturned burning vehicle in September 2007 in Iraq, the newspaper reports.

Sgt. Rodney Turssel was given the Purple Heart for wounds received April 5, 2008, after the truck he was riding in was struck by an anti-tank grenade, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Copyright - The Lexington Herald-Leader
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