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Hoosier Soldier Home After Action in Panama

Hoosier soldier home after action in Panama     INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A Hoosier infantryman who saw action in Panama says the invasion force was well prepared but he was a little nervous anyway.
   Specialist 4 Todd A. Price, 20, said he wasn't afraid when his unit launched an offensive to capture a Panamanian Defense Forces base during the, invasion Dec, 20, but he became a little apprehensive when two of his company's five helicopters were shot down during the assault.
   "We were well prepared," said Price as he joined relatives Sunday in a homecoming celebration ln the living room of his parents' Indianapolis home.
    The machine gunner arrived at Indianapolis -International Airport Sunday. He joined the Army after graduating from high school and was sent to Panama 'two years ago after completing basic training.
   Price's unit, the 508th Airborne Infantry, was told to secure Fort Amador, a Panamanian barracks compound less than a 1/2 mile from PDF headquarters.. No one in his unit was wounded.    Price was told that his company killed at least two Panamanian resisters and captured dozens.
   "There was no doubt about what our job was," said Price, a 1987 graduate of Warren Central High School.

"We had prepared for months. We were thoroughly trained for the mission." 
  During the assault on Fort Amador, Price and two other soldiers were pinned down, briefly, by a sniper as they approached a building:
   U.S. troops returned heavy machine-gun and mortar fire and the Panamanian fighters soon stopped shooting and fled into the canal." Price said. More than 100 "weapons, including handguns, rifles and machine guns, were recovered from Fort Amador.
   After the initial assault, Price's company was ordered to conduct house-to-house searches in Panama City ."The Panamanian people supported our efforts," Price said. "People in downtown Panama City would clap when we went by until sniper fire would make everyone hit the ground."
   Price's  wife, Tiffany' A, Price, 20, has been living off-base in Panama with her husband and their two children since June 1988. She broke down in tears when her husband returned to  their Panama residence on Christmas Eve, four days after the invasion.
   "I'm ecstatic," said Tiffany Price, who also graduated from Warren Central in 1987. "I'm glad to be in the States. I've already eaten an Arby's roast beef sandwich, and it was pure heaven."

[The Tribune, Seymour, IN 15 Jan 1990, Mon Page 8]


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