1165th National Guard Unit receives Presidential Unit Citation

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 17, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

To put oneself in harm’s way for another is a lot to ask of anyone.

But for some, they don’t have to be asked.

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It’s what they do.

On Saturday, July 8, the Fairhope-based 1165th Army National Guard Military Police unit was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for their service in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

This honor is awarded for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy.

The unit must have accomplished its mission under extremely hazardous conditions and must have done so in a way that sets it apart from other units.

The 1165th unit is comprised of roughly 130 soldiers – one of whom

is from Valley Grande.

“It was worth every minute of it,” said 24-year-old Brandon Threadgill of his service in Iraq.

“It makes you feel good to do something like that … to be part of something that big,” he stated with pride.

The 1165th deployed to Iraq around May of 2003 where they served “a little over a year,” according to Threadgill.

The unit was responsible for escorting military convoys and training the Iraqi officers. He recalls being received warmly by the Iraqi people.

“Ninety-nine percent were glad we were there,” he said.

“They were really nice people.”

During their mission in Iraq, Threadgill said they turned a burned building into shelter, putting in air conditioning and sleeping on cots, but sleeping was not so easy with the sounds of war around them. That took some getting used to.

“After a while you’re not as jumpy when things happen,” he said.

“(You) just react when you know there’s something to react to.”

Living in such tense conditions could play on the psyche of any soldier, but a little outside help could aid them in keeping a level head.

Threadgill spoke proudly of the support his unit received from his family and the Fairhope community.

He said soldiers were happy to receive emails and care packages.

He also said it “eased the tension a lot” to be able to hear from family.

Threadgill said that he knew his family was worried, but at the same time, he knew they were proud.

After the unit completed their mission, Threadgill said he was “very happy to be home.”

Even after all he has endured, Threadgill plans to remain in the Army National Guard. A brotherhood, he called it.

Of receiving the Presidential Unit Citation, Threadgill said, “It felt good. We worked hard for it.”

Threadgill is a 2001 graduate of Dallas County High School, Plantersville. He is the son of Annette and Tony Threadgill and has a brother, Jason.

Upon enlisting, all soldiers must take an oath to serve and protect.

Threadgill said a mouthful in a modest tone.

“You just do what you have to do.”