Sac County man receives Meritorious Service Medal
SAC CITY — When Patrick Feilmeier looks back on his many years of military service, including his tours of duty in Iraq and Kuwait, three things come to mind.
He thinks of the bottles of sand he collected from various countries to remember what happened in the places he was deployed.
He almost shakes his head when he compares the letters he wrote to his family in Iowa with the grittier details he recorded in his personal journal while he served in the Middle East.
He also thinks about what it means to earn the Meritorious Service Medal.
“It’s the love of my country that motivated me to enlist when I was a 17-year-old high school senior,” said Feilmeier, a Sac County native who was presented the Meritorious Service Medal by U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, during an afternoon ceremony at the Sac City Courthouse on Monday. “The military’s spirit of service and teamwork is something we could use a lot more of today, as society becomes more ‘me-focused’ than ‘we-focused.'”
Nearly 30 people attended the medal presentation ceremony, which honored Feilmeier’s accomplishments, culminating a 20-year career as a platoon sergeant for the 445th Transportation Company. The Meritorious Service Medal reflects Staff Sgt. Feilmeier’s ability to consistently demonstrate exceptional selfless service, competence, professionalism and initiative for his service from 2006 to 2016, noted the U.S. Army Reserve award certificate.
Leaders like Feilmeier honor, protect and maintain the traditions and principles that have guided America since the Revolutionary War, King said.
“America’s founding fathers laid the foundation of God-given rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Without these, we wouldn’t be the people or the country we are today.”
Family, community inspired military service
The Meritorious Service Medal isn’t the first award presented to Feilmeier, who retired from military service in November 2018. He was previously awarded the Army Commendation Medal, Achievement Medal, Conduct Medal, Defense Service Medal, Expeditionary Medal and other honors.
He credits his family for inspiring his interest in the military.
“My Grandpa Joe served in World War II in the Philippines, and my dad served during Vietnam,” said Feilmeier, a 1996 graduate of Schaller-Crestland High School.
The local community also played a role, added Feilmeier, who remembers going to gatherings at the Merton V. Hair American Legion Post 325 in Early when he was a kid. These memories stuck with him when his military service took him far from Sac County.
During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Feilmeier managed the movement of Combat Logistics Patrols (CLP). He supervised the mission readiness of 84 Heavy Equipment Transporters (HET) and nine M984 wreckers. His experience, expertise and sound decision making led to the successful completion of more than 128 Combat Logistics Patrols, resulting in 145,341 tons of cargo being transported over 2.363 million miles.
In addition, the cargo was delivered with 100 percent accuracy from multiple locations between Iraq and Kuwait, with zero casualties.
“Through his training ability, communication skills and focused instructions, Feilmeier’s team members maintained over 95 percent equipment readiness, which was essential to the wartime mission,” noted the U.S. Army Reserve. “He achieved 12,800 accident-free miles while navigating the roadways of Iraq.”
Numbers only tell part of the story, however. Feilmeier’s dedication to his soldiers’ development resulted in a 93 percent retention rate, added the U.S. Army Reserve.
This same dedication extends to Feilmeier’s family, which includes his wife, Katie, and their three children: Oliva, 8; Joe, 7; and Elizabeth, 4. Service also defines Feilmeier’s civilian role as a registered nurse and paramedic who works with UnityPoint in Fort Dodge and Storm Lake.
King commended Feilmeier for his mentoring ability and ongoing service to others. These ideals, along with the unalienable rights specified in the Declaration of Independence, must endure, King added.
“All wealth comes from the land,” he said. “We’re grateful for it, and we have to protect it, which Pat has done so well.”