Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Bronze Star awarded to valley doctor

Express Staff Writer

Brig. Gen. Alan Gayhart presents Major Frank Batcha with a Bronze Star Saturday in Boise

As a brigade surgeon in a forward operating area of Iraq, Major Frank Batcha treated everything from simple, daily sick-call ailments of troops to being the initial contact physician for seriously wounded and injured personnel. He served at the Army's Kirkuk, Iraq, facility from Dec. 17, 2004, to Oct. 25, 2005.

A Hailey physcian, Batcha took in the sunny and clean skies above Gowen Air Field in Boise on Saturday, June 17, while being presented with a Bronze Star for his service with the 116th Cavalry Brigade, attached to the 42nd Division.

The Bronze Star is the fourth highest award for bravery, heroism or meritorious service.

Batcha, who joined the Army National Guard just before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the East Coast, said a big part of his job in the year he was in Iraq was to help rebuild some of the nation's medical infrastructure. He said he helped to refurbish hospitals and build medical clinics.

"The award was for my service as brigade surgeon with the 116th combat team," he said.

Batcha is now back at work at the Hailey Medical Clinic.

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