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Colorado Special Forces Soldiers honored for acts of valor

By Maj. Darin Overstreet | Colorado National Guard | Feb. 9, 2018

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Local and national leaders will honor Colorado Army National Guard Soldiers from Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Feb. 10, with valor awards they earned while deployed last year in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

The unit returned from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan in October 2017.

The awards approved include seven Purple Heart Medals, 10 Bronze Star Medals with Valor, and eight Army Commendation Medals with Valor. One Silver Star Medal has also been approved, but the member is currently deployed in support of the war fight.

Many of the 59 valor awards submitted are still pending.

“We’re grateful for these brave hometown heroes,” the Adjutant General of Colorado U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Mike Loh said. “I also want to thank their families, employers and neighbors who stood by them so that they could serve our nation.”

“All of the Soldiers acted gallantly, admirably representing Colorado, the Colorado Army National Guard, and the 19th Special Forces Group,” Battalion Commander U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joseph Bauldry said.

Soldiers of Company B, 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group deployed in support of the Resolute Support mission from May through October 2017. The company conducted a train, advise and assist mission to enhance the Special Operations capabilities of our Afghan partners. The Soldiers also engaged in combat against the enemy.

While in theater, Company B leveraged a fellow Colorado Army National Guard unit, the 3rd Battalion, 157th Field Artillery (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System), to devastating effect. The combination of units inflicted high casualties on enemy forces throughout eastern Afghanistan.

U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Kepner, senior enlisted advisor to the chief, National Guard Bureau, Colorado National Guard senior leaders and other dignitaries will attend. Family members and employers will also attend.

The 5-19th also deployed to Afghanistan in 2002, 2013, and 2016 and to Iraq in 2007, all in support of overseas operations.