U.S. troops in Iraq are safer because of the dedication and skill of Army Spc. David Faris. Now the Army has recognized those skills by naming Faris the Multi-National Corps-Iraq Soldier of the Year.
Faris, son of Indian Land High School Principal Kathy Faris and Rhea Faris, a park supervisor in Rock Hill, is part of the Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Unit. His specialty is gathering intelligence on IEDs, the roadside bombs used against U.S. troops, and trying to determine where they are being made, what type of explosive they are and who is making them.
To be eligible for Soldier of the Year, Faris had to win the Soldier of the Month competition and Soldier of the Quarter. Unit winners at each level compete against winners from other units. Faris won the competition for his unit and the corps, but because he is stationed in Iraq, he won't be able to compete in the Army-wide competition.
But both Faris and his parents say they are ecstatic about his being named Soldier of the Year. Indeed, that ranks as a huge accomplishment even if his duties prevent him from further competition.
Faris, who joined the Army in 2005 and re-enlisted while deployed, said that the honor may help him with future promotions. Maybe it already has: Since winning the award, Faris has been promoted to sergeant.
Congratulations to him. We join his family, friends and community in gratitude for his service to the nation.