Specialist Paul Simpson has recently been awarded the Van Autreve Award.
"It was a surprise. He knew they had submitted his name but that was all," said Kris Simpson, his mother.
The Van Autreve Award is for the National Guard Engineering Soldier of the Year. It is only awarded to engineers level E1-E5, meaning enlisted from a private to a sergeant. SPC Simpson is the only National Guard soldier selected nationwide, and only three awards are given between the National Guard, Active Army and Army Reserve.
SPC Simpson was originally with 612 in Norwalk, but was transferred to 1191 in Portsmouth, Ohio to go with them to Iraq. He was in Iraq from Feb. 2004 through Feb. 2005. He recently returned from annual training camp and his trip to Ft. Leonardwood to receive the award.