Iowa: Panther Racing announces hometown hero

Iraq War Veteran SGT Andrew Barden Named Panther's Hometown Hero for Iowa Weekend Iowa Guardsman Since 2003 Served as Combat Medic During Recent Deployment in Taji, Iraq NEWTON, Iowa - (June 18, 2010) -- Iowa National Guard SGT Andrew Barden was...

Iraq War Veteran SGT Andrew Barden Named Panther's Hometown Hero for Iowa Weekend
Iowa Guardsman Since 2003 Served as Combat Medic During Recent Deployment in Taji, Iraq

NEWTON, Iowa - (June 18, 2010) -- Iowa National Guard SGT Andrew Barden was named Panther Racing's "Hometown Hero" for the upcoming Iowa Corn Indy 250, which will be held this Sunday at Iowa Speedway. Panther honors a member of each respective state's National Guard at every domestic IZOD IndyCar Series event, and makes each Soldier their own "Hero Card", which they use while participating in the IndyCar Series mandatory autograph session during the race weekend.

SGT Barden entered the National Guard in 2003 as a 21M (Firefighter) and was later re-classed to a 68W (Combat Medic). He has served with the 294th ASMC for four years and recently deployed to Taji, Iraq. While in Iraq, he acted as a squad leader and his main duty was to supervise the care of over 4,000 detainees and coalition Soldiers in our of four Theatre Internment Facility and Reconciliation Centers (TIFRC). His day-to-day operations included working with detained individuals over medical concerns, and he was also responsible for escorting Soldiers and detainees to-and-from different TIFRC centers in Chinook helicopters. Once his mission there was complete, the TIFRC was handed over to the government of Iraq.

In addition to sitting next to driver Dan Wheldon and signing autographs during the weekend, each Hometown Hero also receives an IndyCar Experience two-seater ride, gets honored in a private ceremony with Panther and National Guard VIPs prior to the race and is then honored on the pre-race stage in front of the IZOD IndyCar Series crowd.

During his service, SGT Barden has earned the following decorations, awards and citations: Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation and the Iraq Campaign Medal.

-source: panther racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dan Wheldon
Teams Panther Racing