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*Note: Portions of this release published in the Sierra Vista Herald

SISC President awarded Bronze Star.

MESA, ARIZONA - United States Army Reservist and Sierra Vista Businessman David Stern was awarded the bronze star in an afternoon ceremony here at the Oscar Herrera Reserve Center.

In May of 2002, CPT Stern left his position as president of Stern Internet Services Corporation and was assigned as the group communications officer of the 164th Corps Support Group (CSG) of Mesa, Arizona. The group was alerted and subsequently sent to Uzbekistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and the war on terrorism. The group returned from their wartime deployment on December 22, 2002.

While in Uzbekistan, the 164th CSG operated Camp Stronghold Freedom whose primary mission was to push the "beans and the bullets" down to the war fighters in Afghanistan. CPT Stern's (and his team) mission was to install, operate, maintain, and manage the telephones, Internet connections, radio networks, and television service for a city 1/20th the size of Sierra Vista. Relating his achievements to civilian life, his team managed the equivalent of Qwest, Cox, DirectTV, Motorola, and AOL during the stresses of a wartime environment.

In addition to the direct communications missions that his teams performed, CPT Stern also distinguished himself by using his civilian experience during his deployment. CPT Stern instituted a family website (www.azarmyfamily.com) that was used to show pictures and tell the stories of the soldiers of the 164th CSG. In addition, Stern Internet Services Corporation donated an electronic newsletter tool that sent emails with pictures and the latest news to families once a week.

Here are a few comments from the families:

…You kept me informed as much as you could on the many days I could not actually hear Mark's voice. The pictures were great, the thoughts were great, the whole thing was great. …Michelle Paone

…It was nice to have the ability to get information out about my brother (Mc Kewan) while he was on the other side of the planet...LOL! But seriously, it was comforting to be able to have as much contact as the newsletter provided….David Mc Kewan

CPT Stern was also recognized for using experience on the battlefield when he built a computerized ordering system that replaced the "paper shuffle" at the base. CPT Stern, and the team he developed, replaced a seven level approval process for requisitioning items like concrete and bottled water using computer programming. The computer programs were so successful that they were installed in Camp Doha Kuwait and endorsed by the Army Audit Agency.

In short, CPT Stern has once again served his country and represented Sierra Vista, the State of Arizona, and the United States of America with distinction.

His award certificate reads: The Bronze Star Metal is presented to Captain David J. Stern, Logistical Task Force 164, for exceptionally meritorious achievement as a Communications Officer while deployed to Camp Stronghold Freedom, Karshi-Kanabad, Uzbekistan, in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Captain Stern's technical proficiency, vast knowledge of communication systems, and dedication to duty under the most extreme of circumstances greatly contributed to the mission's success. His performance of duty in a combat zone reflects great credit upon him, the Combined/Joint Task Force-180 and the United States Central Command. Signed LTG Dan K. McNeill
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