German, U.S. officials salute families of 14 U.S. Army Europe aviators who earned Bundeswehr medal for valor

By U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs
April 29, 2010

Christian Schmidt, the Parliamentarian State Secretary for the German Ministry of Defence, meets with Jack and Tom McDonough following a German honor ceremony in recognition of the Soldiers and families of the 5th General Support Aviation Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, at the Onoldiasaal Theater in Ansbach, Germany, April 29. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Anna K. Perry)
Christian Schmidt, the Parliamentarian State Secretary for the German Ministry of Defence, meets with Jack and Tom McDonough following a German honor ceremony in recognition of the Soldiers and families of the 5th General Support Aviation Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, at the Onoldiasaal Theater in Ansbach, Germany, April 29. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Anna K. Perry)

HEIDELBERG, Germany -- The families of the14 U.S. Army Europe Soldiers who have been named to receive the German Bundeswehr’s highest award for a single act of valor were honored in a ceremony here, April 29.

The ceremony was hosted by German Parliamentarian State Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Christian Schmidt.

“You proved military virtues in the best way one can do -- you proved courage, bravery and selflessness. You deserve our gratitude and our highest appreciation.” said Schmidt of the 14 aviators.

Brig. Gen. Michael A. Ryan, acting commanding general of V Corps, thanked Schmidt and Germany for honoring the American Soldiers for their valor, and for paying tribute to the support and sacrifice made by the troops’ families. “Thank you for letting these families know that their tremendous support and their daily sacrifices which allow our soldiers to do their mission are recognized and appreciated,” Ryan said. 

The Soldiers, from the 5th Battalion, 158th Aviation, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, earned the medal for their support of Bundeswehr units during a battle in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan, April 2. The date for the medals’ presentation at the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan has not been announced.