There were many occasions over the past couple of weeks when Soldiers from my unit received recognition in one form or another. The Commanding General came to our TOC (tactical operations center) to award Meritorious Service Medals to most of the Battalion Staff (Officers and NCOs). The Battalion Commander presented a few of those himself to others in the Battalion, as well as Army Commendation Medals or Army Achievement Medals.
The Deputy Commander - Movement came to visit, along with the Command Sergeant Major, and presented the General's Coin to many of our Soldiers.
Everyone in Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) who did not receive a special medal was handed a Certificate of Appreciation by the Company Commander.
The Battalion Commander presented his Battalion Deployment Coin to selected individuals.
In short, everyone on the Battalion Staff (Officers and NCOs) was recognized publicly by the awarding of some special medal or other, and everyone in HHC received at least a Certificate.
Brigade disapproved whatever award I'd been put in for (presumably because I'll receive something later), so as a consequence, I received no public recognition by the Battalion at all.
Now I know this stuff is not about the shiny things. I get that, and I'm certainly not in it for ribbons and medals and such. Quite frankly, I feel disappointed in myself that I had the reaction that I did to this turn of events.
I guess it's all part of the grief I feel at my best friends from this deployment -- my whole unit -- leaving, while I'm staying behind.
Blessings and peace to one and all,
Fr. Tim, SJ