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Riverside's Jarrard receives Bronze Star for his combat duty
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Col. James Benson, left, president of Riverside Military Academy, shakes the hand of Maj. Kevin Jarrard, the commandant of cadets, after he is awarded the Bronze Star for his achievement in connection with combat operations in Iraq. Jarrard’s wife, Kelly, and U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal also were present. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Maj. Kevin Jarrard, Riverside Military Academy’s commandant of cadets, was awarded the Bronze Star on Friday at the academy’s Cresting Parade.

The U.S. Marine was awarded the Bronze Star for his meritorious achievement in connection with combat operations in Iraq.

Jarrard served as the commanding officer of Company L in the Task Force 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marines, Regimental Combat Team 5, I Marine Expeditionary Force from Sept. 9, 2007, to April 6, 2008.

During his time overseas, Jarrard’s skillful employment and professional leadership of over 250 Marines, sailors and soldiers combined with Iraqi police and provisional security forces contributed immeasurably to the enhancement of security, according to Lt. General S.T. Helland, USMC, Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command.

Col. James Benson, Riverside’s president and a retired Marine, awarded Jarrard on behalf of Lt. General Helland. Benson is a two-time Bronze Star recipient

On Maginnis Field, Jarrard thanked his father who had a similar mission in Vietnam in 1969.

“Also, thanks to my mother, who has watched her husband and three sons march off to war. And my precious wife, who has born our four children and raised them largely without a husband as a way of service to our country,” he said.

“I wish today I could break up this Bronze Star into 250 pieces and give each one of those to the 250 Marines who fought along my side in my time in Iraq,” he said. “I accept this award, which is representative of their courage.

“To the Corps of Cadets, I tell you, you’d do me the greatest honor today if you could march in honor of my fallen comrades, both Marines and Iraqi, who paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we could enjoy freedom and liberty here at home. Semper fidelis.”

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