BREWER, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Soldiers risk their lives each and every day to help keep our country safe. Sunday, Maine's 3rd Battalion 172nd Infantry Unit received an award the Maine Army national guard says is given to units that display extraordinary heroism.
They are the first unit in Maine to receive such honor, an award that is compared to that of the individual Silver Star award.
As a unit the Bravo Company 3rd Batallion 172nd Infantry Regimen received the honor together for their service in Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010, an honor that comes as the second-highest decoration given to army units.
"This is a great honor there are a lot of high ranking individuals here who accredited our efforts during the deployment to afghanistan so we greatly appreciate all of recognition that we have received. Everything we do here is all selfless," said Sgt. Joseph Burke.
"Just for the unit to get it says a lot for what we did over there we had a lot of build up training to get to afghanistan we performed the mission very well and its nice to be recognized," said Sgt. Chase Hinkley.
Amidst the recognition of the units heroism, they bid farewell to outgoing commander Tom Abbott. While he was not the commander during the recognized deployment, he was still with the unit at the time overseas.
"My entire military career, which is now 12 years, has been here with this unit and it's a very unusual thing. I've been on both deployments that the company has been on so when the time came to relinquish commands it wasn't easy...not easy at all," said Capt. Abbot.
Now Captain Nehemiah Nattress takes command as the Unit Valorous Award recipient heads back to training, and back to work.
"I don't know what our future holds for the company but obviously we're going to do our very best and I know you wont get anything else less than that from us," said Sgt. Hinkley