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First Sgt. Randall receives Freedom Salute award

First Sgt. Randall.

At a Freedom Salute Ceremony last December, the soldiers of Alpha Company, Second Battalion, 211th Aviation of the Utah National Guard at West Jordan, were recognized for their hard work and support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

At the ceremony, 48 soldiers received the Freedom Salute Award to publicly acknowledge their service from March 2006 to August 2007.

They were awarded a commemorative flag with case, a Defender of Freedom certificate, lapel pins and a commemorative coin. Soldiers also received individual medals for actions while deployed.

First Sgt. Thayne Rex Randall, was honored with the Bronze Star, Joint Service Achievement medal, and the Air Medal.

Randall, the highest ranked enlisted member of the company, or TOPS as they call him, has served with the Utah National Guard for 21 years.

"When we came together as a company, we has six months to train and get to know each other," said Randall first sergeant of Alpha Company. "We deployed to Ft. Hood, Texas in March 2006, where we spent six months training and preparing for our year long deployment to Iraq. We are a very tight group."

The company provided troop and equipment movement support from their base in Balad, Iraq. During their time away, Alpha Company flew more than 6,200 combat flight hours, conducted 111 air assault missions, and more than 700 missions overall.

Rex, a graduate of Emery High School, is the son of Larry and Carolyn Randall of Elmo and resides in West Jordan with his wife Lydia.

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