Thursday, February 23, 2006

Cousin Mario is Home & Has a Bronze Star

Mario receives the Bronze Star in Afghanistan

We're all very relieved that our cousin Mario has returned safely to the United States and (more importantly) Texas. He is now officially back to reserve status and no longer on active duty. I also just found out that he was awarded a Bronze Star for "... heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States...".

Of course he didn't mention any of this when he and Jill stopped by on their way home, he's too modest. I'm both impressed and humbled by Mario and just wanted to say congratulations, and thank you. It's awfully nice to have you back.

P.S. I misspoke earlier, Mario is in fact a Houston Rockets fan, not a Spurs fan. I like him anyway, but only barely :-)


Jill Phenix Avila said...

It is hard living with a Rockets fan.. It helps that my beloved Spurs beat them all the time since they have no game!!!
So.. Captain Mario wanted me to let everyone know that he was the only person out of five soldiers that received the bronze star that was not a Major, Senior NCO (non-commissioned officer) or Colonel... in other words he was the only junior grade officer to receive this award for his service as an infantry officer in Pakghanistan (my term for the border if you want to call it that). And since I am his commanding officer please know that I am very proud of this soldiers service to our country. ;) ~jill

Denise said...

Jill, I've never met you, but please give Mario my thanks for what he did to protect us. That's quite impressive for a junior grade officer to receive this award. I've interviewed lots of vets, and I know what an impressive honor it is to receive the Bronze Star. Wow.

Jill Phenix Avila said...

Thanks Denise, I will pass on the message...
PS my friend Marisa has a brother, Lt. Dan, who is coming home tomorrow after 6 months on the front lines in Afghanistan. (a.k.a. Pakghanistan mountain range, Salerno)
Okay his real name is Lt. Daniel Paine but I call him Lt. Dan because he is younger than me and I can.. ;) He is with the 82nd and will be deploying to Iraq soon.. I will keep you all updated…
I also have another friend who is on his 3rd tour to Iraq as a Helo pilot. He leaves in 2 weeks for a 6 month deployment. I bet his honey-do list gets bigger and bigger each time he goes home.