I was at the ceremony and took the attached photos and was authorized by the Commanding Officer to share this story.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: YN2 Victor Foyain
Oregon Seabees Received Purple Heart
Two Sailors attached to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 18 from Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Springfield Oregon were awarded the Purple Heart in recognition of injuries sustained while deployed in Afghanistan.
Builder First Class Eric J. Tipler and Construction Mechanic Third Class Jarod D. Miller were injured on January 7, 2011. During a convoy mission, their truck was struck by an Improvised Explosive Devise (IED), causing the vehicle to flip over, injuring the occupants inside the vehicle.
On July 23rd, both sailors received the award from Lieutenant Commander Richard B. Ray, NOSC Springfield Commanding Officer, during a ceremony at the 162 Infantry Regiment Readiness Center in Springfield.
Builder First Class Tipler, from Pendleton, enlisted in the Navy in 2004. Construction Mechanic Third Class Miller, from Eagle Point, enlisted in the Navy in 2008. Both sailors decided to join the military to become Seabees, the construction force of the Navy.
Navy Seabees have been protecting the nation and serving the U.S. Navy for 69 years. Bees, as they are called in the Navy, are engaged globally, constructing bases, building airfields, roads, bridges and other support facilities.
The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration in the United States. It was originally called the Badge of Military Merit and was created by George Washington during the American Revolution. At the time, it was only awarded to Soldiers serving in the Army. In 1942 the decoration was extended to all services. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan extended the eligibility to service members wounded or killed by international terrorist attacks.