Five Arizona National Guardsmen were recognized Wednesday before the Arizona Diamondbacks game for their service in Iraq.
U.S. Army officials said the Valley soldiers were honored in celebration of the Army’s 231st birthday and Operation Tribute to Freedom.
The honorees included Maj. Paul Ellis of Chandler, a recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal, who commanded a battalion providing military police support and convoy security from October 2004 to December. He and his unit completed 6,000 escort missions and secured the safety of more than 500,000 troops without any casualties.
The other four received the Bronze Star Medal and Combat Action Badge. They were:
Sgt. 1st Class Max Hamlin of Higley: Performed convoy security missions and trained Iraqi police from March 2003 to March 2004. Aided Hurricane Katrina relief operations in October.
Staff Sgt. Kevin Carpenter of Mesa: Squad leader and platoon sergeant from March 2005 to February. Trained 900 Iraqi officers and five Iraqi station commanders, and was on more than 270 combat missions in the Baghdad area and saved six soldiers’ lives.
Sgt. 1st Class John Cummings of Peoria: Noncommissioned officer-in-charge from December 2004 to December at Forward Operating Base Diamondback, which monitored security for 4,000 soldiers and civilians.
Sgt. 1st Class Charles Thomas of Phoenix: Platoon sergeant with military police from March 2005 to February. Participated in 150 combat missions in Baghdad.