Aug 24, 2007


Laboratory Researcher Awarded Bronze Star for Service in Iraq

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., August 24, 2007 -- U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Tod Caldwell, a postdoctoral researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory, has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service in Iraq. Caldwell recently returned to work at Los Alamos after a one-year tour of duty in Baghdad and Al Anbar province.

Caldwell, now a reservist, went to Iraq to help train the Iraqi Army and also worked with the National Police Force. His job turned out to be much more than that of an instructor.

According to Caldwell, during an August 2006 combat patrol along the Euphrates River his group was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED). The team had just finished removing some boats from the river, checked a renovation project, and was headed back to the main road when the fourth vehicle in his convoy was hit by the IED. Thrown in the air and flipped, the 13-ton armored Humvee came to land on its roof. The blast left a crater five feet wide and four feet deep. The attack left one Marine dead, two soldiers injured, and one Iraqi interpreter injured.

Caldwell, according to his Bronze Star citation, "showed personal courage by securing the area first, directed the evacuation of casualties, and remained on-site to ensure cleanup and investigation of the hostile location."

Caldwell is understandably proud of his military awards, which also includes the Combat Action Badge, but more meaningful to him are the changes he brought about while there. "It really means something to you when the people you worked with tell you they want you to stay." He returned with a Koran and prayer beads, gifts from his Iraqi comrades.

While he came away with a better understanding of the people, the country, the region, and its religion, Caldwell said he believes the people he worked with "learned more about American society and American thinking. I think they came away with an understanding of how much work is required" for their country to become a stable democracy.

Back at Los Alamos, Caldwell is working in the Condensed Matter and Thermal Physics group, continuing his materials research using nuclear magnetic resonance.
Contact: Kevin N. Roark, knroark@lanl.gov, (505) 665-9202

41 comments:

Pinky and The Brain said...

Congratulations SFC Caldwell and thank you for your service!

Anonymous said...

"I think they came away with an understanding of how much work is required" for their country to become a stable democracy."

Boy, I wish we were a domocracy here in the good ol U S of A. Once upon a time, maybe.

Anonymous said...

democracy--stable or otherwise--is not the goal of the Bush War. And even if it were, invading the country and FORCING it on the people is sure as hell not the way to do it.

It's an OIL WAR, kid.... it's a US war of aggression, kid. BUSH INVADED IRAQ FOR OIL.... get it yet?

Ebay is great for unloading medals and junk.....

Anonymous said...

3:04pm

You are despicable human being. Caldwell had the courage to serve his country, do you? It is your right to state your opinion about the war and I do agree that the war is really about resources, however to denigrate the medal earned by Caldwell is beyond sad. To denigrate any of our soldiers who serve is just a disgrace. Just remember the
people who serve in the military are the ones who protect your rights to free speech.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Roark is the contact person for this article? Now THAT's despicable!

-Daffy Duck

Gussie Fink-Nottle said...

Congratulations, Tod. It is encouraging to note that there is at least one LANL staff with the courage to do the right thing when the situation calls for it.

Unlike 3:04, who clearly does not. The medal was about individual courage, not politics.

--Gussie

Anonymous said...

When the RIFs start in a couple of months, I sincerely hope that 3:04 is at the top of the list. We don't need his kind here.

Anonymous said...

"Congratulations SFC Caldwell and thank you for your service! 8/24/07 8:36 AM"

I second that!
Thanks for a job well done, and welcome back to Los Alamos.

Anonymous said...

7:25pm

The 3.04 poster does not work at LANL.
It is the same troll who posts over and over about how bad LANL is.

Anonymous said...

the kids fighting in Iraq are now protecting my rights to free speech.... talk about a leap in logic...

it's a resource war... it has ZILCH to do with democracy, freedom, or anything other bushistic jingoism....

I hope Caldwell enjoys polishing his medal while other innocent kids got killed there for NOTHING

Pinky and The Brain said...

Almost every day there is a comment I don't want to publish, yet I do it anyway. 8:45PM, you're making yourself look like an ass. But if you want to keep doing it I'll keep publishing your comments.

Anonymous said...

it has nothing to do with Caldwell.... and the story has no place on the blog anyway...

but if you think it reflects well on LANL, go ahead an publish it.

The bush war is an illegal act of aggression and if you want to "glorify" it with medals, go ahead.

you might just as well publish the names of the thousands bush has killed there FOR NOTHING... THAT at least would serve a purpose.

Anonymous said...

9:18

If you would just pleeease publish your name, I would be happy to "discuss" politics in front of the Otowi (if you know where that is) on Monday!!

Keep on talking buddy. Just keep on talking. It helps the rest of us to understand a little better.

HTS.

Anonymous said...

8/24/07 3:04 PM -- of course the war is about oil. In case you hadn't noticed, the entire WORLD economy runs on petroleum products.

I hope your little tiny pea brain can comprehend what would happen if the world economy was held hostage to a bunch of raghead sheepherders with nukes who want nothing more than to slit your throat and watch you die.

Anonymous said...

so aggressive and angry, hts.... go to iraq and you might win a medal, too.....

Anonymous said...

3:04pm... you must have failed civics. The US is NOT a democracy...it's a constitutional republic.

Anonymous said...

The anonymous commentors
at 8/24/07 3:04 PM
at 8/24/07 8:45 PM
and at 8/24/07 9:18 PM
are clueless assholes.

Anonymous said...

Contitutional republic...

...one might also say representative democracy too, but we're just splitting hairs. It most definitely is not the kind of direct democracy where an ass like 3:04pm is allowed to have direct influence.

It took me awhile to see why our forefathers were correct in not letting a bunch of asses have the ability to govern the country. I now appreciate their wisdom.

SFC Caldwell: Job well done. Welcome home!

Anonymous said...

The planet is past peak oil. Not much time, perhaps 40 years, to have alternatives, including general lifestyle modifications, figured out. If there's any real science capability at LANL left, and congress can figure out how to fund it, LANL folks might play a part in the solutions.

Caldwell deserves the medals, and they are his. He can polish them or sell them on ebay. What he does with them is nobody else's business.

What needs to be remembered is that there is a tremendous number of young (and older) people who were poorly prepared who have been sent to Iraq and are coming back physically and/or mentally wounded who are among us, and we have to be deal with this problem. Let's say you're messed up mentally and physically, happen to have gotten drunk by midday, drive off the road and get physically hurt some more. Happen to have a firearm in the vehicle, which is legal here. Happen to have the firearm loaded, which is legal most places around here, but not on certain short stretches of road west of Los Alamos. Happen to have wrecked the vehicle on a short stretch of road where loaded firearms are not legal. Now have been charged with federal crimes... The people whose lives will continue to be affected by this one casualty of the Iraq war is limited only by one's imagination. And it's going to be happening for the next 40 or 50 years. This wounded veteran with a loaded gun in the wrecked vehicle is not an imaginary scenario, in case you're wondering.

The s.o.b. bushites should be impeached and convicted, but we're still going to have to deal with the human casualties for the next 50 years, well after oil will be much too valuable to be used for private vehicle transportation.

Anonymous said...

8/25/07 8:44am said "Happen to have the firearm loaded, which is legal most places around here, but not on certain short stretches of road west of Los Alamos."

At this time it is entirely legal to have a firearm in your vehicle while transiting Lab property via public access roads. If/when the bypass road is completed and LANL is designated as "off limits" via revised Federal law (which will take years), *then* having a firearm in your vehicle anywhere on LANL property will be a problem. Until then, don't worry about it as long as you stay on those main roads and you don't turn off them or park in a TA parking lot.

Anonymous said...

11:11 am:

I think 8:44 am was referring to the stretch of NM 4 in the Jemez that goes through Bandelier, where it is illegal to have a LOADED firearm in the vehicle.

Anonymous said...

8/25/07 12:20 PM said "...stretch of NM 4 in the Jemez that goes through Bandelier"

I called Bandelier park HQ...they said NM4 does not go through Bandelier property. According to them, having a firearm in a vehicle while driving anywhere on NM4 is OK.

Gussie Fink-Nottle said...

Pinky,

I know your preference is to to not censor any comments, but I believe an exception is called for in this case. 3:04 is a piece of human garbage, whether or not he works at LANL. I would leave that post to demonstrate that fact to everybody.

However, I see no need to allow him to continue to pollute this post which you put up in honor of Tod's award. If it were my blog, I'd delete 8:45pm, 9:18pm. 9:41pm, and 9:46pm, and any subsequent missives from this individual, for the sake of cleanliness.

--Gussie

Anonymous said...

Firearms can't be loaded legally on the north couple of miles of Forest Road 289, either. I think that's where the unfortunate situation with the veteran much less able to deal with his Iraq experiences than SFC Caldwell started to escalate.

Why the Democrats don't want to impeach is beyond me. Whatever negative effects Bush's removal might be have to be less than the negative effects resulting from letting this mess continue.

There's no doubt many service personnel, including SFC Caldwell and perhaps the other veteran mentioned above, have and are having and would continue to have positive interactions with Iraqis, but that's not a reason to continue to add to the walking wounded both in this country and Iraq and all over the Middle East.

If the insanity doesn't get stopped soon, it won't matter if adjustments get made before the oil runs out.

Anonymous said...

The discussion of firearms on NM 4 is interesting. I'll bet many don't realize that you cannot take photographs along NM 4 in white rock all the way to the back gate. Seriously. PTLA is enforcing the "camera policy" along that road as if it were the same as Pajarito road. Many people have been harassed and been threatened to have their cameras confiscated.

I am sure that firearms would be viewed similarly, but you would probably have to be stopped taking a picture of a tree or rock or something and get PTLA interested in you before they would find a firearm. However, the point is I would not rely on it being a public NM road. It makes no difference to PTLA.

Anonymous said...

8:45PM is so full of shit, as are most of those who cloke themselves in the American flag as though they give a damn about what it means. How does fighting a worthless war for oil translate into preserving free speech?! The so-called Patriot Act ended that, ended privacy, ended rights to an attorney and on and on and you think some clown who gets suckered into this conflict is a hero? A victim maybe, but hero NOT. And yes, I work at the Lab. Not every Labbi is as stupid as 8:45PM.

Anonymous said...

8:14PM must have a troll fetish, Everyone he hates he labels them a troll, I thought only chideren believe in trolls. What the heck is a troll anyway. Is the midwesterners version of La Llorna? Now that would be insulting, but a troll? Naah,

Pinky and The Brain said...

8:48,
I've never met SFC Caldwell, but I'll go out on a limb here. I bet he'd tell you that he is no hero and the bronze star is not supposed to make him one. I bet he'd also say his service does not make him a victim. It makes him an American soldier and I bet he's proud of it.

Anonymous said...

9:41PM,0oh yes my sweet HTS (Homo Theoretical Scientist).. I'll.gladly meet you in front of the Otowi (as you request) on Monday. Pleeeese... I'll be. wearing the pink tutu. We can go behind the water fountain, if you know what I mean. ;)

Anonymous said...

8:48pm
9:02pm
9:37pm

I am sure it is all the same guy. Yes you are a troll. I also think that you may have some sort of substance abuse problem. It is getting really sad seeing you disingrate on the blog. You really need some help. I find your 9:37pm post to be highly offensive and homophobic. This kind of thing does not belong on the blog. In any case I am certain you do not work at the lab.

Anonymous said...

The record clearly shows that Clinton was impeached. Bush won't be impeached. That will be the historical record. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

No, I think the historical record will show that we're the Idiot Nation...period!

Anonymous said...

You're right. Clinton was impeached. He wasn't convicted. If Bush was impeached, he could be convicted. The Congress owes it to every family whose service member has been killed in Iraq, every service person who is now walking wounded, every Iraqi civilian, and every U.S. citizen, military and civilian, who has tried to serve their country and the Iraqis in Iraq. It's not possible to "get over it" any more than it's possible to "get over" Nanos.

Anonymous said...

Bush impeached/convicted....of what? Produce the evidence! If it is about the war, it is only Congress that can declare war and it did.

Anonymous said...

8:14 am:

"it is only Congress that can declare war and it did."

No, it didn't, and hasn't since WWII. Getting history wrong lets you screw up everything else (again).

Anonymous said...

You people are disgusting. How can you bash someone who has served our country and gone to war in the name of our country. I don't care if you are a democrat or a republican. This has nothing to do with Clinton or Bush. This is about someone who has served our country and was rewarded for it. You should be praising Todd Caldwell and not insulting him for serving his country and not hiding as an anonymous asshole on a blog. YOu should be ashamed of yourself.

Anonymous said...

Todd Caldwell is a genuine hero. We need more like him in this nation. Politics has no part in this discussion. When you put on the uniform, you do as you are told in the service of your country. Some, like Todd, go above and beyond what they are asked to do. Those who dis-honor his service and bravery should be ashamed to call themselves American citizens.

Anonymous said...

7:48 PM.
Right on!!!! I am a Vietnam vet. Was not by choice but because my country and my duty to it called!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sarge. As a veteran, I know the sacrifice you made. It is unfortunate that "freedom of speech" guarentee did not come with a common sense or IQ qualifier.

Again, thanks for your service to the US.

Anonymous said...

8/24/07 3:23 PM said "Just remember the people who serve in the military are the ones who protect your rights to free speech."

GIVE ME A BREAK! OUR FORCES IN IRAQ HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH OUR FREEDOMS. ARE YOU AS UNEDUCATED AS OUR PRESIDENT?

Anonymous said...

8/26/07 8:56 AM

Remember the document called the Constitution of the United States? (The original document, not the one you're trying to revise) Look at Section 8, Clause 11. What does it say?
Congress voted for the war in Iraq - if they hadn't, how much easier life would be for Hillary today not to have to explain why.