By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/22/12
This year Lower Merion will honor 4th ID Army Infantry by wearing the division decal on their helmets. Freshman Paddy Black, a midfielder who has made the varsity for the Aces, wanted to honor the unit since his brother, former lacrosse player Brandon Mader (Class of 2007), is deployed with the unit in Afghanistan.
The following is Black’s first-person description of the idea to honor his brother’s unit.
“I recently asked Coach (Mike) Borsch if it was OK to wear a decal on the back of my helmet this season to honor my brother while he was deployed. He quickly said yes and informed me that not only would I be wearing the decal, but the whole team.
“After discussions with my family it was decided that we would wear the 4th Infantry Division decal -not only to honor my brother but his whole division. For it is the whole division that makes the team and their motto ‘Steadfast and Loyal.’ It seems not only to apply to the 4ID, to my LM team, but also the history of the game.”
“The 4th ID is one of the Army’s most recognized infantry divisions. The 4th ID was one of the first modern Infantry divisions in the US. They have been in almost every war the US has fought.
“They have fought in World Wars 1 and 2, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. They are sent everywhere around the world. The 4th ID was one of the first combative Army units sent into Iraq. On 13, December 2003, the 1st Brigade of the 4th ID provided perimeter security for the U.S. Special Operations Forces that captured Saddam Hussein, former President of Iraq.
“The division rotated out of Iraq in the Spring of 2004, and was relieved by the 1st Infantry Division. In May 2009, 1st and 2d Battalions, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4BCT, 4ID, deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The 1st Battalion was based in the Arghandab River valley, west of Kandahar. The 2nd Battalion was based in the Pech River Valley, Kunar Province, home to the Korengal, Waygal, Shuriak, and Wata Pour Valleys.
“During its time in the Pech Valley the 2d Battalion saw heavy fighting throughout the area. In June 2010, Task Force 1-12 and Lethal Warrior (2-12), 4th BCT, 4th Infantry Division redeployed to Fort Carson, Col., after a successful 12-month combat deployment in Afghanistan.
“Since December 1917, the 4th Infantry Division has remained ‘Steadfast and Loyal.’”
My brother Brandon Mader
“Brandon graduated from Lower Merion High School in 2007. At LM he played lacrosse all four years. He played junior varsity his freshman year and varsity in his sophomore, junior and senior year. During his junior and senior year he was named one of the team’s captains.
“After high school, Brandon went on to college to play D-3 lacrosse at Immaculata University. He started as a freshman and was also a team captain. After his freshman year ended, he felt as if something was missing. That summer he announced that he was going to join the Army, a dream he had since he was little.
“He told us that he was leaving the following June to go to Fort Benning, GA, for basic training. After basic training ended in September, he was told he was going to be stationed in Hawaii or Colorado. A week later he found out he was going to be stationed with the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Col.
“There he trained for a month with his unit, 2nd Battalion-12th Infantry Regiment. After that month he was shipped out to Kunar Province, Afghanistan. He left in November of 2009. Thankfully in May of 2010 he returned to Fort Carson. After debriefing, he came home. In February of 2011 he attended Air Assault School in Kentucky and the Warrior Leader Course in Colorado. After that he returned to train with his unit because it was scheduled to ship out in March 2012.
“Brandon recently arrived in Afghanistan to start his second tour. Upon arrival he went in his bag to get his lacrosse stick out. Soon after, Mom got a message from him. It simply said ‘Mom can you please send me a shaft? I forgot mine In Colorado. I thought I packed it all, but I only have the head.’
“She replied ‘Sure Brandon.’”
Tags: Lower Merion