Soldier from Gig Harbor awarded Bronze Star

Military: U.S. Army Capt. Joseph Barrow receives medal for a mission in Afghanistan

of the GatewayFebruary 19, 2014 

An Army soldier from Gig Harbor recently was awarded the fourth-highest honor in the military for a mission in Afghanistan.

U.S. Army Capt. Joseph Barrow won the Bronze Star while he and other soldiers resided at Forward Operating Base Tagab in Kapisa Province. The mission was to train the Afghan National Guard for an eventual changeover.

Barrow won the award Feb. 6 for “exceptionally meritous service, under extreme circumstances, in a combat zone.”

In Charikar, the capital city of the Parwan province, where the next stage of the 2nd Battalion’s mission is located, Barrow told the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System that children played in the streets, practiced English with the soldiers and “gave the ubiquitous thumbs up.”

Barrow and his family lived in many places before they settled in Gig Harbor. The family moved to the area weeks before Barrow’s deployment last June.

His wife, Melanie, also is a veteran. She was deployed multiple times with the U.S. Air Force during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and the conflict in Bosnia. She’s currently working as a photographer with Bodhikai Imagery.

The couple’s daughters, Amelia and Penelope, are students in the Peninsula School District.

Barrow will redeploy from Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan. He will then be reassigned in the 442nd Signal Command in Fort Gordon, Ga., for a career advancement course until late 2014.

After he graduates, Barrow will seek to be in a military unit in the Seattle area to be closer to his family.

Reporter Karen Miller can be reached at 253-358-4155 or by email at Follow her on Twitter, @gateway_karen.

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