2008-04-09 / Front Page

Heath Bailey decorated

by Terry Toole

Specialist Brandon Heath Bailey was awarded medals for meritorious service in Iraq. Specialist Brandon Heath Bailey was awarded medals for meritorious service in Iraq. Specialist Brandon Heath Bailey was a member of the Alpha Company, 15t Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, during his nine months' tour in Iraq. During those months, Heath was presented two medals from high ranking generals for his selflessservice to his unit. Recently, Heath was promoted to Specialist and was presented the Army Commendation Medal for his exceptionally meritorious service during operation Iraqi Freedom V while serving as a rifleman from the Secretary of the Army and Colonel Wayne V. Grigsby Jr. (Infantry Commanding Unit).

Specialist Bailey's professionalism, selfless service and dedication to duty were instrumental in the success of the unit. Bailey's actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflectgreat credit upon him, the "Sledgehammer" Brigade and the United States Army.

In a recent conversation, Specialist Bailey stated, "Those months over in Iraq were a trip that I will never forget and will never get out of my mind. No matter how much training a soldier receives, you are never prepared. I was injured from a bombing and was sent back to the states in the later part of October and underwent back surgery in November 2007. Shortly afterward, I learned that my unit was hit, and the lives of two sergeants and three of my unit buddies were taken. This was devastating! So many American soldiers' lives have been taken away from their families. Our unit looked forward to all the care packages that we received especially the ones that had pictures of our families. The few times that we were able to have what we call a quiet time, each of us would share our thoughts with one another and enjoy the snacks that were in the care packages. My officersand buddies that lost their lives are the ones that deserve this medal. We were more than a unit; they were my second family, and we covered for each other. I did what I had to do to protect myself and my unit brothers. I just hate that I was not there to protect them when they needed me the most. Everyday, I prayed and asked God to forgive me, to allow me to see my family again, and he did."

Heath's parents are proud to have him back in the states and proud of all his medals he has received.

Specialist Bailey is stationed at Fort Benning, going through physical therapy.

Again Specialist Bailey wants to thank everyone for the prayers, letters, cards, and care packages and asks that the prayers continue for our soldiers.

Heath is the son of Al and Glenda Bailey of Colquitt. Colquitt.

Return to top