Investor's Business Daily profiles South Dakotan awarded the bronze star
South Dakota Bronze Star winner Joel Arends is profiled in depth for his service in Iraq by the latest issue of Investor's Business Daily:
Arends and his men were on patrol one day when one of his soldiers recognized that a man detained on a routine traffic stop had been one of Saddam Hussein's personal bodyguards. They arrested him and transported him to detention.Read it all here. And thank a vet for the freedoms you enjoy.
Another time, Arends got word that four men in masks had been shooting at civilians. "We immediately started a house-to-house search in the area," Arends said.
It all added up to a mission that called for different tactics than in combat. "When you're engaging the public like this, you have to be mindful of the fact we don't want to be perceived as being the occupiers by bursting into their houses without permission," he said. "We're knocking, asking for permission, saying, 'We're asking for your help.' "
His platoon also adopted a day-care center in Baghdad . His men provided security, toys and other supplies to the children.
"We received baby and child hygiene supplies and toys from all across America . And we donated them to this day care in the Karada district of Baghdad," he said.
He says knowing the right thing to do comes from classroom and field work. "It's a combination of applying training and learning on the fly. It's expected of leaders to make the most of the situation," he said.
Being able to make quick decisions comes down to setting priorities, he says: "You have to put the mission first. And you're worried about the people in your unit, and your own welfare last. You knock those priorities down one by one until you get that mission accomplished."