~I met up with Gordy and his wonderful wife today at the new 9|11 monument in Sandy, Utah.
~Master Sergeant Gordon Ewell knows about sacrifice. Shortly after 9/11, our country headed to war. First Iraq, and then Afghanistan. September 11th started a new life journey for many servicemen and women. All gave some --- and some gave all. Master Sergeant Gordon Ewell would add “…and I like to add to that that --- some are still giving. "There's a war after the war. And those soldiers will battle that war for the rest of their life," he said. Master Sergeant Gordon Ewell gave his heart, soul -- his life to his country, and he got a different life in return. Master Sergeant Gordon Ewell (“Gordy”) first joined the army at 18.
~After the Twin Towers came crashing down on 9|11, Master Sergeant Gordon Ewell left his family and headed for Iraq as an IED Hunter --- a searcher of bombs. And he found plenty. But the bombs also found him --six times. Gordy relates, "You have this sensation of being inside a thunder cloud and the blinding light of a lightning strike." Gordy's injuries were extensive. The most damage came from his traumatic brain injury. "You don't know how to be injured. You don't want to be restricted. It's very difficult. You always expect to come home whole…" he says. "What's hard about the anger is --- how to direct it. You're angry about being hurt. You're angry that you're broken or disabled, but you're not angry that you went and were a defender of freedom." Some things, Gordy says to me, are worth sacrificing for.
"Even had someone told me, "OK Gordy, you're going to get blown up multiple times, you're going to lose your sight, and your hearing. You're not going to walk or drive or go to the bathroom or swallow, and this is going to be your fate,' I would still do it again. There's not an inch of soil in this country that's not worth fighting for and defending."
Master Sergeant (MSG) Gordon L. Ewell, was born on June 8th, 1967 and graduated from Emery County High School in May 1985. He joined the Utah Army National Guard on August 28, 1985 with initial assignment to the 1457th Engineer Battalion as a Combat Engineer. In August 1991, he transitioned to the Active Guard Reserve program, with Delta Company, of the 1457th Engineer Battalion.
His 24 year career has been marked with distinction through notable accomplishments that render him an excellent example for other Soldiers to follow. MSG Ewell has served in several military occupational specialties. These include a Communications Specialist, a Combat Engineer, a Logistics Specialist, and a Personnel Administration Section Sergeant. Throughout his outstanding military career he has served in key positions as Training and Administration Specialist, Supply Sergeant, Combat Engineer Squad Leader and Personnel Section Sergeant.
From MSG Ewell's initial entry into the Utah National Guard, his superiors recognized his outstanding initiative and a deep care for his fellow Soldiers. He has been recognized as one who would do whatever it takes to accomplish the mission, or help a fellow Soldier in need. Furthermore, MSG Ewell has attended numerous courses to sustain his military proficiency. He has graduated from over 30 Army Resident Schools, graduating as the Honor Graduate, or in the top 10% of his class, from nearly every one of them. He has completed, with a “Superior”
MSG Ewell's most challenging assignments have been his recent two overseas deployments;
MSG Ewell led over 33% of the missions he was on in Iraq. He was recognized by his superiors to be unparalleled in his physical stamina and toughness complemented with superior technical and tactical capabilities. This was clearly demonstrated on the battlefield when his efforts under heavy enemy fire were unrivaled, which earned him the Bronze Star Medal and the Combat Action Badge. During that time, his vehicle was also hit by Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s) on 6 separate occasions.
One of the explosions that he endured was so powerful that it blew his impacted wisdom teeth out the side of his jaw. In addition to the major damage done to his jaw, he also suffers from broken vertebrae in his neck, Damage to his lower spine, permanent loss of hearing (leaving him legally deaf), anatomical loss of his right eye, and peripheral/bi-
MSG Ewell returned from his deployment in December 2006, to the 640th Regiment (Regional Training Institute) as the Noncommissioned Officer in Charge, for the Personnel & Administration Section. He was assigned there, until being Medically Retired, from injuries sustained while at war in Iraq, in February 2010.
Today, he continues to serve with distinction, as a Member of the Blue Star Riders, as a Volunteer at the George E. Wahlen V.A. Hospital in Salt Lake City, with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Disabled American Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart, American Legion, and with various other Military Related Service Organizations.
MSG(Ret) Ewell, currently resides in Eagle Mountain, Utah.
Military Awards and Decorations
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart Medal
Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf
Army Achievement Medal
Army Good Conduct Medal with 6 Bronze Knots
Army Reserve Components Achievement with 3 Bronze Oak Leafs
National Defense Service Medal with Bronze star
Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” Devise and Silver Hourglass
NCO Professional Development Ribbon, (3rd Award)
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Service Ribbon
Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon (3rd Award)
Combat Action Badge
Diver and Mechanic Badge, with wheeled vehicles clasp
Utah Commendation Medal (3rd award)
Utah 2002 Olympic Winter Games Service Ribbon
Utah Emergency Service Ribbon
Utah Achievement Ribbon
Utah Recruiting Ribbon
Utah Service Ribbon
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Army Superior Unit Award