FORT HOOD — A lot happened to Liam Fowler during his tour in Iraq from November 2003 to October 2004, but what he remembers most can be described in one word: incoming.
“We were getting hit every day,” said Fowler, now an Army Reserve captain with the 479th Field Artillery Brigade, First Army Division West. He also works as a Department of Defense civilian at Fort Hood.
During an award ceremony at the division’s headquarters Friday, Fowler was awarded the Bronze Star for his service during Operation Iraqi Freedom. U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, pinned on the medal, the military’s fourth-highest combat award.
Fowler, who joined the Army Reserve as a private in 2000, was deployed with 13th Corps Support Command, now known as 13th Sustainment Command, to Iraq in 2003. While in Iraq, he was given a direct commission — a rarity in the Army — from staff sergeant to second lieutenant after a general’s recommendation.
Fowler took part in supply convoys throughout Iraq, helping move about 10,000 trucks during the early part of the nearly nine-year war that ended last
December. He had close calls with incoming fire and shrapnel.
“We did lose a vehicle in front of me,” he said. “That was the scariest part.”
According to the award citation, Fowler distinguished himself as a noncommissioned officer and officer in charge while in Iraq.
“His actions, bearing and insight were far beyond his rank,” according to the citation. “Capt. Fowler always maintained mission focus and was a constant source of motivation for the soldiers in his charge.”
Fowler said an accidental injury during the end of his tour delayed the award being submitted.
He said a colonel involved in the operation spearheaded the effort to recognize Fowler and submitted the award application last year.
Following the ceremony, Carter said there are many veterans, including those who served in Vietnam and Korea, who are still waiting to receive the Bronze Stars they deserve from combat missions.
Fowler lives in Temple with his wife, Yvonne.
“I thought it was wonderful,” said Yvonne Fowler, describing Friday’s ceremony. “He is a good man.”