Louis Webster “Webb” Mason, a civil engineering technician in the Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory (GSL) at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, was recently awarded the Silver de Fleury medal in recognition of 26 years of service to the Engineer Regiment, both in technical and leadership positions. The medal, which was first created by the Continental Congress to honor Francois de Fleury, a French soldier who fought with Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War, honors individuals who have provided significant contributions to Army engineering. It was presented to Mason by ERDC director Dr. James Houston during a GSL hosted ceremony. Mason began his career at Vicksburg’s Waterways Experiment Station (WES) site as a contract welder for the Department of Public Works in 1985 and became a full-time employee in 1991. Mason was seriously wounded June 18, 2008, when the overseas base to which he was stationed came under rocket attack. He was able to tie a tourniquet on his arm while waiting for help to arrive, and was later MEDEVaced to Salerno, Italy, where surgeons amputated his left arm above the elbow. Mason also suffered severe injury to his leg and spent several months recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Mason was presented with the Defense of Freedom Medal, the civilian equivalent of the Purple Heart, in a special ceremony Feb. 19, 2009 and returned to work at ERDC full time March 2, less than one year after being injured.
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