NMCB 133 Seabees Receive Purple Heart in Afghanistan

By UT3 Drew Verbis, Task Force Anchor Public Affairs, NMCB 133

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A formation of Seabees from NMCB 133, Task Force Anchor, stands at attention during a Purple Heart ceremony on Camp Krutke, Afghanistan, Jan. 6.  EO2 Keith Hauter and BUCN Dan Morgan, NMCB 133, received the Purple Heart from Maj. Gen. Charles M. Gurganus, commanding general 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Forward, for wounds sustained when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device. Photo by UT3 Drew Verbis

Two Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133, Task Force Anchor, were awarded the Purple Heart by Maj. Gen. Charles M. Gurganus, commanding general 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Forward, during a ceremony on Camp Krutke, Afghanistan, Jan. 6.

Equipment Operator 2nd Class Keith Hauter and Builder Constructionman Dan Morgan, NMCB 133, received the award for wounds sustained when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED). They’re expected to make a full recovery and finish the deployment.

Maj. Gen. Charles M. Gurganus, commanding general 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Forward, speaks to Seabees of NMCB 133 following the Purple Heart ceremony on Camp Krutke, Afghanistan. Photo by MC1 Steven Myers
Maj. Gen. Charles M. Gurganus, commanding general 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Forward, speaks to Seabees of NMCB 133 following the Purple Heart ceremony on Camp Krutke, Afghanistan. Photo by MC1 Steven Myers

“Allow me to use these Seabees to talk to you,” Gurganus said. “These guys have something that I don’t have. These guys (Seabees) who drove over an IED, these Purple Heart recipients, are the brave example that we’re succeeding.

“I want you to know how important you all are,” Gurganus added. “I know that Seabees ‘build and fight’ because I’ve seen it. I’ve seen you hammering in full battle gear, put down the hammer, grab your rifle and join the fire fight for hours, then go right back to hammering. I’ve seen you do this for days on end. I couldn’t do this job without Seabees. I need you and I’m letting you know we’re winning, and you’re a big part of that result.”

Gurganus went on to explain the current condition of the drawdown of American forces in the region. He said to stay on course and maintain focus.

“I felt like the major general gave us positive validation,” said Builder 3rd Class Juan Moriealvelez, NMCB 133. “We all sacrifice so much to be here and it’s good to get a motivating message directly from the top of our chain of command.”

Gurganus left these departing words, “I will only make one promise to you before you leave. I’ll get you on that plane, but I promise I will work your tails everyday while you’re in this battle space because that’s how important Seabees are to the mission.”

EO2 Keith Hauter and EO2 Dan Morgan, NMCB 133, received the Purple Heart from Maj. Gen. Charles M. Gurganus, commanding general 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Forward, for wounds sustained when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device. Photo by UT3 Drew Verbis
EO2 Keith Hauter and BUCN Dan Morgan, NMCB 133, received the Purple Heart from Maj. Gen. Charles M. Gurganus, commanding general 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Forward, for wounds sustained when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device. Photo by UT3 Drew Verbis

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