Kentucky Guard’s 2123rd receives meritorious unit commendation

Story by Capt. Gus LaFontaine, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

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Capt. Nelson Anglin watches as Brig. Gen. Stephen Hogan and Lt. Col. William Ewing attach the Meritorious Unit Commendation streamer to the guidon of the 2123rd Transportation Company in Richmond, Ky., Dec. 15, 2013.  The unit was awarded for its work in Afghanistan in 2010. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Shanna Chouinard)

RICHMOND, Ky. — The 2123rd Transportation Company of Richmond, Ky. was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation at their home station Dec. 15, 2013.  The commendation was awarded to the unit for valorous actions during their deployment to Afghanistan in 2010.

Brigadier General Stephen Hogan was on hand to present the award to the unit during their annual Christmas dinner.

“This is an incredible honor,” said Hogan. “The citation that was read really speaks to itself in terms of what you did over there in the field.”

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Following Hogan’s references to the citation that accompanied the Meritorious Unit Commendation, he spoke to the unit about some points that were not captured in the citation.

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Sgt. Christopher DeLeon bears the guidon during the 2123rd Meritorious Unit Commendation ceremony at Richmond, Ky., Dec. 15, 2013. DeLeon was also recently named the Kentucky Guard’s Soldier of the Year for 2014. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Capt. Gus LaFontaine)

Hogan spoke of the difficult conditions faced by a transportation company in Afghanistan, the proud history of the 2123rd, and the sacrifice involved in deploying in service of the Kentucky Army National Guard.

In reference to the history of the 2123rd Hogan said, “Going back to 1922, [the 2123rd was] available for every domestic episode, ice storm, and flood.  Regardless, the 2123rd has been there.”

He also noted the unit’s deployment to Iraq in 2004.

“The result of your actions over there gave us equal footing and equal credibility with the active component who said that they would never second guess the National Guard again.  In this you have shown them how Kentucky Soldiers can fight.“

Capt. Nelson Anglin, commander of the 2123rd, sought to incorporate some of the same history into Sunday’s ceremony by inviting former members of the 2123rd to the award presentation.  Anglin is charged with transitioning the unit from their past successes in Afghanistan to training the unit for another deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  He recognized the value of teaching the unit’s new Soldiers about the history of the 2123rd.

“A lot of these new Soldiers probably didn’t understand what some of these veterans experienced out there on the road in a combat environment.  For them to be able to see some of the accolades that our unit received while we were deployed will help move our unit forward and help them understand what the training environment is going to be like over the next year. “

Anglin, who was a platoon leader with the 2123rd during their previous deployment to Afghanistan spoke about the challenges and sacrifices the transportation company faced during their deployment.

“We experienced a lot of convoys and a lot of time on the road.  We had around 27 Purple Hearts and some combat valor awards with Soldiers doing great things out on the road. “

In his final remarks, Hogan referenced challenge and sacrifice.

“This citation does not speak to the service and the sacrifice that Guardsmen and Citizen Soldiers live every day.  You had to leave a job that was likely a great deal more comfortable, satisfying, and suffice to say normally nobody shoots at you when you do your civilian job.  But more notably, you had to leave the comfort of your fireplace, your favorite chair and the love and affection of your families in the interest of your nation’s call.”

The general’s remarks sunk in with Anglin.

“To hear from a general and to see the award presented gives everyone an eye opening experience to what we did in theater.”

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