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TF Iron Rakkasan Soldier reenlists after being wounded in action

 

Written by U.S. Army 1st Lt. R.J. Peek 3rd Battalion
187th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division

187th Infantry Regiment - Iron RakkasansFort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne DivisionGhazni Province, Afghanistan – The Soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry, Iron Rakkasan, has some tough Soldiers.

U.S. Army Sgt. William Bickers from Cincinnati, a mortar man for Battlehard Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry, epitomized that strength September 16th.

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. John Campbell, Commander of the 101st Airborne Division, stands over the bedside of U.S. Army Sgt. William Bickers Sept. 16th at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan. Campbell presented Bickers with the Combat Infantryman’s Badge for his direct engagement with the enemy and a Purple Heart for being wounded in the line of duty while on a foot patrol in Andar District, Ghazni province. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. R.J. Peek)

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. John Campbell, Commander of the 101st Airborne Division, stands over the bedside of U.S. Army Sgt. William Bickers Sept. 16th at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan. Campbell presented Bickers with the Combat Infantryman’s Badge for his direct engagement with the enemy and a Purple Heart for being wounded in the line of duty while on a foot patrol in Andar District, Ghazni province. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. R.J. Peek)

While conducting a foot patrol through Andar district, Bickers, from Cincinnati, and his platoon came under contact from insurgents using AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. Two Soldiers sustained injuries in the attack before they were able to force them to flee. Bickers took a gunshot to his left arm and was evacuated to Forward Operating Base Ghazni for medical care. He was later moved to Bagram Air Field for higher-level treatment.

Being shot was only the beginning for Bickers. While lying in a hospital bed recovering from his injuries and surgery, Bickers was visited by U.S. Army Maj. Gen. John Campbell, Commander of the 101st Airborne Division. Campbell presented Bickers with two awards that day. The first was the Combat Infantryman’s Badge for his direct engagement with the enemy. The second was a Purple Heart for being wounded in the line of duty.

U.S. Army Sgt.William Bickers shakes hands with Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Schroeder,the command sergeant major for Combined Joint Task Force 101, Sept. 16th at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan. Maj. Gen. John Campbell, Commander of the 101st Airborne Division, awarded Bickers with the Combat Infantryman’s Badge for his direct engagement with the enemy and a Purple Heart for being wounded in the line of duty while on a foot patrol in Andar District, Ghazni province. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. R.J. Peek)After receiving the two awards, Bickers showed his true inner strength. Despite having just been wounded in action, Bickers elected to reenlist for an additional two years of military service. Campbell stood beside his hospital bed September 16th as Bickers’ Platoon Leader, U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Brady Juelson from Palm Coast, FL, administered the reenlistment oath as Bickers held up his uninjured right hand. Juelson was also wounded in the engagement.

U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Brady Juelson from Palm Coast, FL, administered the reenlistment oath as Bickers held up his right hand. Juelson was also wounded in the engagement and did his best to administer the oath with his bandaged hands. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. R.J. Peek)“I was wounded less than nine hours ago in a firefight,” said Bickers. “I am reenlisting now because I love the Army and this unit. Bad things happen, but this will not change my mind about supporting my unit and my country.”

U.S. Army Lt. Col. David Fivecoat from Delaware, Ohio, Battalion Commander of 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry, said, “Sgt. Bickers has shown exceptional strength and courage. He is an excellent Soldier and leader, and we are proud to have him stay part of the Iron Rakkasan Team for another two years.”


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