Local Army Unit First in Maine to Receive Valorous Award 

Members of Company B, 3rd Batallion, 172nd Infantry Regiment were honored for their service in Afghanistan on Sunday in Brewer.They received one of the army’s most prestigious awards.The Unit Valorous Award is the second-highest decoration given to army units.”It’s a great honor. We’re the first unit in Maine to receive this honor so I’m very proud to be part of this organization. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” said SGT Chase Hinkley. While the award was pinned on the units’ commanders during the ceremony, they say it really recognizes everyone in the unit who deployed to Afghanistan in 2010.”It was an amazing deployment. We did a lot of interesting things. But just having that inside look, knowing the people that were involved, knowing what thy had to go through and recognizing just the prestige of the award. I’m very honored to be here and be pinned with it,” said CPT Todd Abbott. “It speaks directly to the manor in which they conducted themselves and their missions overseas which is to say it was with a high degree of valor, risk, and danger and they did exceptionally well,” said LTCOL Jason Pelletier. “I’m definitely honored. I’m just happy that our company as a whole has performed so well and it’s a great feeling for us to experience recognition on such a great level from so many high ranking individuals,” said SGT Joseph Burke. “We worked very hard in 2009 we had a lot of build up training to Afghanistan and once we got there we performed our mission very well and it’s nice I be recognized.”Despite the recognition, the batillion commander said it’s back to business for the unit. they have an upcoming military training opportunity they need to be ready for. “We want to take an opportunity to positively to recognize them for their achievements, but I also have to encourage them to keep the hammer down and really focus,” said LTCOL Pelletier. The unit also had a change of command at the ceremony. Captain Nehemiah Nattree and First Sergeant Brian Baker make up the incoming command team.