RUMFORD – Joseph Michael Labrecque, son of Richard and Debra Labrecque of Rumford, joined the U.S. Army in June 1998 right after graduating from Mountain Valley High School.

Labrecque completed basic training at Fort Sill, Okla., graduating in February 1999 as a Distinguished Honor Graduate at the top of his class. He was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas, in the 1st Battalion 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment.

After two years, Labrecque was chosen to receive training at the Army’s Space Command School, Fort Bliss, Texas, graduating third in his class in May 2001.

Labrecque was stationed at Osan Air Force Base in Korea for a year. After his overseas tour was up, he re-enlisted for another six years in October 2001. He was promoted to sergeant in April 2002.

After Korea, Labrecque went to Fort Hood and the 4th Battalion 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment. In August 2002 he graduated from the primary leadership development course on the commander’s list (equivalent to being on a dean’s list in college in the top 5 percent of the class).

Labrecque was promoted to staff sergeant in July 2003, and in March of 2004 he was deployed to Iraq for Operations Iraqi Freedom 2.

He and his unit will return to Fort Hood, Texas, in March.

His awards and decorations include an Army Commendation Medal, an Army Achievement Medal, two Army Good Conduct Medals, one National Defense Service Ribbon, one NCOES Ribbon, two Overseas Ribbons, one Army Service Ribbon, two Drivers Badges (one for wheeled vehicle and one for tracked vehicle), one Expert Rifle Marksmanship Badge and one Silver Army Recruiter Badge.

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