[ELGIN, IL May 28, 2010]
On behalf of the US Department of Defense and the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO), Mark Vargas ('04 alumnus of Judson University) was awarded the Secretary of Defense's Global War on Terrorism Civilian Service Medal on May 28 in a ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington by Paul Brinkley, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, in recognition of his service and support to the United States and the War on Terrorism.
To earn this award, one must engage in direct support of the TFBSO's mission for either a period of 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days of service in a combat zone. The TFBSO was established in June 2006 to aid in the revitalization of Iraq's economy and in creating jobs for the Iraqi people. The Task Force focuses on initiatives that restore the core industrial capability of a state's economy.
In an article of the Spring 2008 issue of Judson University's quarterly publication, Judson Today, Vargas explained, "Our mission is to work ourselves out of a job. The faster we can work with the Iraqis to re-open businesses and put them back to work, the faster our brave men and women can come back home."
The Iraqis he works with, Vargas says, are highly motivated and desperate to bring their economy to its feet.
The medal symbolizes the honor and achievement of civilians who have served the Department of Defense's mission to defend freedom against danger that may develop on foreign soil.
Says Vargas, "I believe that we're waging the battle of our generation here in Iraq. One day I'd like to say that I was a very small link in bringing stability to a war-torn country."
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