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This time last year, Paige Craddock, right, was a cardiology clinical associate on Halsted 5. Byron Cooper, left, was a surgical equipment and materials specialist in the surgical finance office. In December, the pair’s Army reserve unit was activated, and the two relocated to Camp Cooke in Al Taji, Iraq. Then Craddock, 41, and Cooper, 40, were pulled from their regular supply unit duties and placed on the quick reaction force. “If someone fires a mortar at the base,” says Craddock, “we go out looking for them.”

In July, both men were honored with a Combat Patch Certificate and a Certificate of Achievement “for meritorious performance [during Operation Iraqi Freedom II]…your enthusiasm, initiative and selfless service reflect great credit upon you, your unit, the 185th Corps Support Battalion and the United States Army.” Craddock also was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from the Alpha Company Guard Dogs for his “superior service… while providing force protection to Camp Cooke.”



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