Surprise ceremony heldRon Brock receives decoration for 30 years of service
“Sgt. Ron Brock – front and center!”
Dressed in his Army uniform to honor Independence Day, but confused about why he was being called from his seat with the Washington Municipal Band, Brock stood up and made his way down from the bandstand to where the 34th Drum and Fife Corp from Fairfield had been performing Thursday evening. His father, Wayne Brock, also moved down. The soldiers in the Corp had a box and a framed proclamation. Brock had expected to receive an Army Commendation Medal when he retired from the National Guard about a year ago. Instead, his father pinned a Meritorious Service Medal — several ranks higher — on his uniform.
“I wasn’t expecting this high of an award,” Ron Brock said. “My past experience is an E5 sergeant doesn’t receive this high of an award. I wasn’t expecting this at all.”
While the presentation of the medal had been kept secret from Brock, he began to suspect there was a little “collusion” going on between the National Guard members and the senior Brock.
“It was beyond words,” he said. “I just wasn’t expecting it. I’m deeply honored I have been recognized for my many years of service and it is just a great honor to receive this.”
Brock also explained the medal is given in lieu of the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service. It is given for similar acts or services as the Legion of Merit, but for lesser responsibility. He said that it is the highest award he received in his career.
Wayne Brock said Ron Brock had been waiting for the medal for some time. He was told on retirement that he would be receiving the award. It wasn’t presented to him at the time of his retirement. He had thought the award would be given during a performance at the 2012 Iowa State Fair. Again, the medal was AWOL. While on a trip to Fairfield to arrange for the Drum and Fife Corps to perform during the Independence Day concert, Ron Brock had asked about the medal. At the time, he believed it was lost in the mail.
“They called me from the guard unit and said they had Ron’s award and it had been upgraded and he would be quite surprised. They wanted me to give it to him, but they told me to keep it a secret,” Wayne Brock, a Sgt. First Class Retired with the National Guard, said. “His mother would have been very proud of him.”
Ron Brock said that he began playing with the National Guard band as a junior in high school in 1981. He spent about five years playing with the band before going to college. After college, he joined the Army full time, where he became a legal specialist and served in Germany. After active duty, he rejoined the National Guard. He went back on active duty in 1994. He left the military in October, 2000. After the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Brock rejoined the National Guard band.
“It was a great way of finishing off my military career,” he said. “I started with the band and I ended with the band.”
Wayne Brock said that he was happy he got the chance to award Ron Brock the award.
“I’m a proud father tonight,” he said.