Danbury man presented 16 awards for military service
DANBURY — Nearly 15 years after leaving the military, a veteran was presented with 16 medals and ribbons to honor his service to the country.
Sgt. Robert “Darnell” Carpenter, 42, of Danbury, received his medals from U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th, at a ceremony on the Danbury Green Saturday morning.
He stood on the stage in uniform alongside his wife, Angella, and their grandchildren, as more family members and friends applauded from the audience.
“This extraordinary display of awards is unlike any I’ve seen before,” Esty said.
She said the medals were a testament to Carpenter’s character, service and family.
Carpenter joined the U.S. Army National Guard in 1996 and became an E5 sergeant with the Active Guard Reserve in 2001, where he served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2003, he was injured while serving oversees. His unit was awarded the Valorous Unit Award and Oak Leaf Cluster Bronze for that operation, which he received the medals for on Saturday.
He was also presented the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal & Letter “M” Device, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Marksman Badge & Rifle Bar, Combat Action Badge, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal and the Connecticut Wartime Service Medal.
Esty said Carpenter, like many veterans, doesn’t like to talk about his time in the military but it’s important that others do talk about veterans and recognize their service.
“He answered the call to protect and serve our country in some of our most trying times,” she said.
Esty and other elected officials commended Carpenter for his service and the sacrifices he made to defend people’s rights.
“I want to thank everyone for coming out,” Carpenter said. “My military career ended when I got injured in 2003. It was one of the hardest things I had to face coming back into civilian life.”
He thanked his friends and family gathered at the ceremony for all of their support, as well as Esty’s assistance over the years.
Angella Carpenter said the ceremony was very moving.
“It was quite emotional,” she said.
She said her husband is very quiet, unassuming and humble and she was grateful they could honor him.
“It’s a very honorable moment and memorable,” she said. “We’ve been through so much. I’m very proud of my husband.”