U.S. Army honors Michael Candela
U.S. Army Spc. Michael Candela
November 14, 2012
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U.S. Army Spc. Michael Candela distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions to the United States, as Team Leader of Task Force Lethal Warrior in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.
On Aug. 8, during Operation Enduring Freedom XIII, Spc. Candela was performing duties as a member of the Battalion Personal Security Detachment for the 2nd Battalion 12th Infantry Regiment in the city of Asadabad, Afghanistan, when he experienced two loud explosions caused by a suicide bomber that had detonated a vest filled with explosives. Upon realizing that there were casualties due to the explosion, Candela quickly drove the lead vehicle of the patrol unit to the site of the explosion, placing the vehicle in position to provide security and deny the insurgents’ ability to continue the attack. He quickly identified the need for medical attention and within seconds he had placed two tourniquets on a wounded soldier’s leg, moved him to cover, and assured him that he would be all right.
Without hesitation, Spc. Candela searched for more casualties and found himself dragging a lifeless soldier and attempted to revive him. After being relieved by medical personnel, Candela placed himself at the friction point of the operation and began carrying soldiers as part of an aid and litter team. In all, he treated and evacuated six wounded soldiers to casualty evacuation vehicles, and then escorted them to Forward Operation Base Wright for proper medical care.
Spc. Candela’s sound judgment and quick reaction led to the wounded soldiers being treated and preserving many of their lives. His actions are in keeping with the finest tradition of military service, and reflect great credit upon himself, Task Force Lethal Warrior, and the U.S. Army.
This is Candela’s second deployment to Afghanistan. He served his first deployment from June 2009 to June 2010, where he was assigned to the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, referred to as “Death Valley,” during Operation Enduring Freedom, Task Force Mountain Warrior. He received the Army Commendation Medal for outstanding service at the end of his deployment. Among other accomplishments, he has received the commendation medal for outstanding service during his current assignment, and three Army Achievement Medals for outstanding service during noncombat training operations while stationed at Fort Carson, Colo.
Candela is the 23-year-old son of Steve and Olga Baumann and the proud brother of Emelie and Cristian Baumann of Floresville. He is the grandson of Leslie and Nelda Baumann of Floresville and Luciano and Socorro Suchil of Robstown.
As Candela’s deployment comes to an end, he would like to express a heartfelt thank you to all in the community who have prayed for his safety. He would also like to thank his family, the Rev. Phil Henning, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and the First Lutheran Church in Floresville for the personal prayers and support throughout his deployment.