Local Soldier Honored for Duty

He served in Fallujah, a town that has become synonymous with insurgency and gunfire.

Army SSGT Claude Sturm, a Tallahassee native and Florida High graduate, was honored with a proclamation, a hero's welcome courtesy of the Leon County Commission.

Army SSGT Claude Sturm says, "It means a lot. It's great that the people who are in the Army or any branch of the military know that people back home are behind them 100 percent."

Sturm was a recruiter who volunteered to go to Iraq as part of the 82nd Airborne and found himself in Fallujah one of the most violent battlegrounds of all.

"I was a reconnaissance squad leader in my battalion and our mission was to go and gather intelligence to give to the battalion commander and he would make his assessment and his plans based on that information," says Sturm.

Sturm's squad was caught in more than one fire fight, but he never lost a man. He'll tell you he's no hero, just like the rest of the soldiers, he says he's an ordinary man put into an extraordinary situation.

February 19 is now SGT Claude Sturm Day in Leon County. That's his birthday, which he spent this year fighting in Iraq.