By Ayandria Barry, AW2 Advocate
On April 4, 2004, in Sadr City, Iraq, AW2 Soldier SGT Mike Timm’s platoon had just returned from patrolling in the city and within 10 minutes there was a call for the entire Forward Operation Base to load up. He wasn’t clear on what the mission was but within minutes they were loaded up and moving out of the base in a convoy. SGT Timm was in the back of a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle (LMTV), when they were told that they were going to rescue a patrol that had taken fire and was pinned down in the city.
On the way to rescue them, many of the roads were blocked by makeshift road blocks and tire-fires. As SGT Timm’s patrol made a turn a few blocks from the objective they came under heavy fire, and he was the first of many to be hit. A bullet went through his left forearm and entered his right forearm, blowing out an inch of bone and leaving him unable to use his hands. The next few minutes were horrible as he lay on his back unable to do anything while his fellow comrades were under fire. After what seemed like forever they started moving and he was hit again in his right knee, leaving it peppered with shrapnel. To this day, he is still seeing doctors to remove the shrapnel that pierced his leg.
On January 7, 2010, AW2 Veteran Mike Timm was presented his Purple Heart in a ceremony performed by BG Gary Cheek, Commander, Warrior Transition Command. As Mike’s AW2 Advocate, I worked with the Army Awards Section to ensure this Soldier’s award was rceived. I helped review his records and get the proper documents to the Awards Branch and on August 26, 2009, he was awarded a Purple Heart for injuries received in the attack that ended his military career.
When BG Cheek presented the Purple Heart during the ceremony at the Warrior Transition Command, Mike said, “Before today I did not feel like I was still a part of the military, today I know that I am still a part of the Army Family and it feels good.”
Seeing Mike receive his Purple Heart was a great experience for me. Being the daughter of a Soldier that was killed in Vietnam, I was proud to be in attendance to personally see the Soldier receive his Purple Heart.