L. Paul Bremer, III
Coalition Provisional Authority
Andrew Rathmell Award for Valor
29 April 2004
Ambassador Richmond, ladies and gentlemen, we are here gathered to honor
valor under fire.
Although we have seen a lot of valor under fire here in Iraq, valor under fire
is always special, wherever it happens, whenever it happens.
Valor is special because it goes to the heart of who we are as human beings.
Valor at risk of your own life requires strength of purpose sufficient to
overcome the love of life, the fear of death.
Dr. Andrew Rathmell, whom we honor today, showed that strength under mortar and
rocket fire on January 21, 2004 at Forward Operating Base Warhorse in Baquba.
Knocked down and temporarily deafened, under fire and at risk of his own life,
Dr. Rathmell repeatedly went to the aid of soldiers and others wounded in a
night attack. He dragged Colonel Ralph Sabatino of the United States Army to
cover and then exposed himself to enemy fire at least three more times as he
applied first aid to others who were wounded and confirmed that two soldiers
were already dead. Dr. Rathmell assisted with triage and helped carry the
wounded to the battalion aid station.
Dr. Rathnell is not a professional warrior, but he displayed the courage and
coolness under fire to which all warriors aspire.
* * *
Dr. Rathmell, after the September 11, 2001 attacks the Department of Defense
created this Medal of Valor to recognize valor beyond the ranks of the uniformed
You are the first recipient since 9/11 and, of course, the first non-U.S.
citizen to receive this award.
Andy, your acts surpass my capacity to express appreciation or admiration.
I can only, on behalf of myself and my country, thank you and to present you
with this Medal for Valor.