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Old 10-26-2010, 17:52   #17
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Michigan SF Soldier inducted into state's own military and space museum

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. (USASOC News Service, Oct. 26, 2010) – Sgt. 1st Class Jarion Halbisengibbs, a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross and an Ann Arbor, Mich., native, was inducted on Oct. 12, 2010 into the Michigan’s Own Military and Space Museum, located in Frankenmuth, Mich.

The induction ceremony was attended by his wife, Holly and his son, Caden, and included the unveiling of a case displaying Halbisengibbs’ equipment and mission documentation from the engagement during which he proved his heroism.

Halbisengibbs was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on May 14, 2009, for events that took place in Iraq on Sept. 10, 2007 as a weapons sergeant assigned to Operational Detachment Alpha – 083, 3rd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne).

ODA-083 was tasked to advise and assist a combined assault element of Iraqi National Police in capturing a high-value target from the Islamic State of Iraq who was running a kidnapping and extortion ring. ODA-083 and their Iraqi National Police counterparts conducted an air assault on targeted buildings where the HVT was thought to be.

ODA-083 and their Iraqi counterparts came under fire as soon as they assaulted the compound. The combined American and Iraqi force cleared the first structure and took fire from a building 50 meters away.

ODA-083 Soldiers Capt. Matthew Chaney, Sgt. 1st Class Michael Lindsay and Halbisengibbs cleared the building, killing several insurgents while doing so. Upon entering the building, all were wounded by an enemy grenade, Chaney and Lindsay also suffered gunshot wounds.

Halbisengibbs found himself alone and wounded after the grenade attack. His night vision device and radio were damaged, so he was unable to contact the assault force. He cleared the room and continued to fight into a courtyard, where he encountered a position not cleared by the assault force. Halbisengibbs came under fire and was wounded in the abdomen; he kept fighting and killed the enemy within 12 feet of his position.

Halbisengibbs found cover and took command of the Iraqi National Police element, securing the objective. He sought medical attention for his wounds only after the objective was secured.

Halbisengibbs’ wife Holly said the events that day were a supreme test of their then new marriage.

“We had been married for only a year when I got the phone call from Jarion when he was flown to Germany for treatment,” she said. “It’s a horrible thing to hear your husband has been wounded in combat.”

Halbisengibbs said he is thankful for the support Holly received from family support immediately after his injuries.

“Family support in Special Forces works… period,” he said. “My wife was assisted by the 10th Special Forces Group family support and by the Special Operations Command Care Coalition every step of the way. They had her on a plane to Walter Reed as soon as I arrived at the hospital.”

Not long after being awarded the DSC, Halbisengibbs’ uncle, John Gibbs, contacted Stan Bozich, a friend and the director of the Michigan’s Own Military and Space Museum Director. The two men agreed that Halbisengibbs’ heroism deserved to be in the museum.
At the dedication of the display, Halbisengibbs said he considered it a huge honor to be inducted into the Museum.

“I am humbled to be included in this display of courage that shows so many different veterans from our nation’s wars,” he said.

Halbisengibbs spoke with pride in front of the display of Master Sgt. Tony Yost, his former instructor in the Special Forces Weapons course. “Special Forces is a small community and it was a personal loss for many of us when we heard he was killed in action. He was a great Special Forces NCO and is sorely missed.”

Halbisengibbs said he felt honored to be recognized for his courage in battle, but he was also quick to remind those present that his decoration didn’t make him better than any other Soldier serving overseas. “It’s an honor to serve your country in wartime, no matter what your role is.”

The combat narrative of this article was obtained with the permission of the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Public Affairs Office.

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