Katie Werginz Story




February 7,2007



Angels Watching Over The Tower Guard

By Spc. Karly Cooper
15th Sustainment Brigade, PAO

CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Soldiers who work tower guard wake up everyday knowing the dangers of their job. Some Soldiers get through their shift with out any action while history unfolds for some.

Soldiers with the 1157th Transportation Company who worked during the shift of 26 January went to work that day just as they do everyday unaware of the events that were about to unfold.

At her guard location Sgt. Katy Werginz, a Tower Gate Guard from Waupaca, WI, heard a loud whistle in the distance and then the sound of impact.

"It sounded like really bad fireworks and the sound of metal on metal, we were stunned." said Sgt. Werginz.

The first mortar hit back by the fuel point and the second mortar hit the north side of the guard tower.

"I just heard a thumping noise and as soon as I heard one hit behind us, I stood up and saw the Tower get hit." said PV2 Dominique Williams, a Tower Guard from Roanoke, VA.

Spc. Brandon Harrison came hobbling down the stairs yelling for PV2 Williams. He grabbed the Specialist and put him over his shoulder then carried him over to a Stryker.

Sgt. Werginz assisted Spc. Harrison with his leg wound while PV2 Williams ran upstairs to help Spc. Rebecca Schroeder, who at the time was on guard. Sitting on her chair with radio in hand, getting ready to call in a nine line medevac, he picked her up and put her over her shoulders then went down the tower to the Strykers.

"When I needed my instincts the most they kicked in." said PV2 Williams.

Spc. Harrison and Spc. Schroeder got taken to the Cobra clinic, sent over to Balad and ended up in Germany.

Spc. Harrison took shrapnel to the foot and now recovering in Fort. Lewis, Wa.

Spc. Schroeder took shrapnel wounds to various parts of her body. She is recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Pvt Williams & Sgt Werginz CAMP TAJI, Iraq - PV2. Dominique Williams (left) a Roanoke, VA., native and Sgt. Katy Werginz (right) a Waupaca, WI., native, both tower gate guards for the 1157 th TC, helped fellow Soldiers out of their area of operation when their tower was attacked on 26 Jan.

Gen Richard Cody & Sgt Werginz

U.S. Army Chief of Staff Richard Cody is pictured with Waupaca High School graduate Katy Werginz during a recent awards ceremony for the 15th Brigade Troops Battalion, which is currently stationed in Iraq. "He's No. 2 in command of the Army, so he's kind of a big deal," Werginz said. "It was quite the experience, something I can tell the grandkids about. He was really nice and a down-to-earth guy. My heart did speed up a bit as he pinned me with my Army Commendation Medal and handed me my certificate."


Updated March 22, 2020
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