"Being a father and being a husband myself, if I feel in danger in any way, I'm gonna shoot somebody; I'm gonna do what it takes to get myself home ..." (Audio Interview, 17:51)
| James R. Welch
James Welch 
|Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, 2001-present
4th Infantry Division, B Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team (BCT)
Fort Benning, Georgia, Fort Carson, Colorado; Iraq
As an infantry soldier with the Army's 3rd Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq in 2003, Specialist James Welch searched homes for weapons and set up security checkpoints. He served seven months in country, suffering from a broken collar bone, but focused on getting his job done and returning safely to his family. Indifferent to how the media portrayed the war or how politics played into it, Welch wanted to give the Iraqi people a better life, even if they did not always seem to view the Americans in such a noble light. On one mission, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle in which he was riding was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED). Though missions may have proved scary for Welch, letters from family and school children gave him and his fellow soldiers the support they needed to get through.