Press Releases

Harrison Soldier Named Soldier of the Year

Honored in Congressional Record

Oct 05 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Army Corporal David Bixler, was named the Soldier of the Year by the USO after distinguishing himself on the battlefield and during his recovery after being wounded in Afghanistan. 

In recognition of his selflessness, heroism, and bravery while on a patrol in 2010, CPL Bixler of Harrison, earned the Silver Star, one of the highest combat military decorations that can be awarded to a member of any branch of the United States military. 

“Corporal Bixler represents the best of our American soldiers and we are proud to say he is from Arkansas. Having the opportunity to visit with him and his daughter Elaine was a pleasure, and I am humbled and honored to help recognize his sacrifice and selfless service,” Senator John Boozman said. 

Boozman met with Bixler during a luncheon in the Capitol recognizing USO’s Service Members of the Year and presented him with the Congressional Record, the document that reflects the official proceedings of Congress which contained remarks by Boozman honoring CPL Bixler’s service. 

The following are the remarks delivered by Boozman in the Congressional Record: 

Mr. President, I rise today to honor Corporal David J. Bixler for his courage, heroism and selfless dedication to the U.S. Army and his fellow soldiers. 

Corporal David J. Bixler—of Harrison, Arkansas—recently received the United Service Organization’s Soldier of the Year Award for distinguishing himself both on the battlefield and during his recovery from the wounds he received from his actions during a firefight in the Arghandab River Valley of Afghanistan.

On September 30, 2010, Corporal Bixler and his platoon conducted a patrol in the volatile and dangerous region to talk with some local elders. During the mission, Corporal Bixler was assigned a small team of Afghan National Army soldiers to lead. The patrol came under heavy enemy fire forcing the unit to turn back to safety.

Corporal Bixler’s following actions are heroic and inspiring. As the patrol turned around, one of the Afghan Army partners stepped outside of the cleared path and Corporal Bixler, recognizing the danger ran after the Afghan soldier. As he attempted to shove the soldier back onto the cleared path, he detonated an IED that caused extensive damage to his body. Through this courageous and selfless action, he saved the life of the Afghan soldier and the other members of his patrol. For his heroism, he was awarded the Silver Star.

Throughout his difficult recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Corporal Bixler has been an inspiration to those around him and to his unit that continues its service overseas.

Mr. President, Corporal David Bixler has not only met the criteria for the Soldier of the Year Award, but eclipsed it. Words cannot express how proud I am of Corporal Bixler and his valor and bravery now how grateful I am for his service. We thank him, and all our servicemen and women, for their sacrifice and efforts on our behalf.