(Editor's note: We would love to feature other active military from the local area. Send your stories to email@example.com)
New Martinsville native Lt. Col. Bob Owen was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for service in combat in Afghanistan on July 4 during a ceremony in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Owen is a graduate of Magnolia High School, class of 1984, and Marshall University, class of 1988. He is completing a year-long deployment where he served as the Deputy Commander for Regional Support Command-South. He was directly responsible for advising, training, and mentoring senior leaders of the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban.
"I am truly honored and blessed to have received this award, but the credit should go to all my soldiers who perform our mission every single day, under intense conditions, and get the job done in a professional manner," stated Owen. "I'm proud to serve side by side with America's best, doing a mission that our country has asked us to do."
Lt. Col. Bob Owen receives the Bronze Star Medal for service in combat in Afghanistan.
Owen has served in the Army for 25 years and has served in many leadership roles, including Platoon Leader, Company Commander, Battalion Executive Officer, Inspector General, Public Affairs Officer, and currently serving in his basic branch, Infantry.
"My time here in Afghanistan and having the privilege to serve as the Deputy Commander of this Brigade has truly been the most challenging assignment I've ever had," Owen added. "Even with two tours in Iraq, I would have to say that this mission was by far the most difficult."
The Bronze Star Medal is an individual military award of the United States Armed Forces. It may be awarded for acts of heroism, acts of merit, or meritorious service in a combat zone.