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thedrifter
01-03-08, 09:13 PM
Passing of the Sword: Consol Grad Honored for Service in Iraq

Posted: 6:18 PM Jan 3, 2008
Last Updated: 6:18 PM Jan 3, 2008
Reporter: Kristen Ross
Email Address: ross@kbtx.com

Serving the country as a Marine has long been a dream of Sgt. Ian Welch.

"I grew up in third world countries and coming to America seeing such differences, I thought it was my responsibility to at least have some sort of service," Welch said.


Welch joined the Marine Corps after graduating from A&M Consolidated in 2001, and headed off to boot camp on September 10 of that same year.

"When you sign up for the military and you choose an infantry based MOS (military occupational specialty), you must expect what you're going to be getting into if something happens in the world," Welch said.

A day later disaster struck, when the World Trade Centers were attacked by terrorists.

"When September 11 happened, everybody knew that the time would come to serve, and I was proud of it," Welch said.

"We were very sad about 9/11, and then also very scared, but we knew he was committed to doing his job, so we supported him and his fellow Marines," Sgt. Welch's Parents John and Nancy Welch said.

Welch has served in Iraq three times, and was part of the unit that brought Saddam's reign to a crashing halt, a day he remembers quite well.

"Very emotional a lot of tears, tears of joy, and I was in the square. Our tanks pulled the Saddam statue down and there was great big cheers," Welch said. "It didn't matter if you were American or Iraqi. Everybody was happy."

Already having seven medals to his name, including a Purple Heart for injuries he received in combat, he was honored Thursday afternoon with one more award: an NCO sword for his service.

"It was a way to honor him in a way he could continue the honor with all the engravings which are his progenerates all the way back to 1900 that have been in service," Sgt. Welch's Grandfather William Crist said.

The ceremony, which was headed up by his grandfathers who have also served, gave friends, family and loved ones an opportunity to say thanks to one of College Station's most valiant sons.

"We feel he has done an excellent service to the country, and we're quite proud of him," John Welch said.

Sgt. Welch couldn't be more proud of serving his country.

"I know progress is being made, because I'm there," Welch said.

Ellie