Staff Sgt. Ryan Budde, an Effingham native and graduate of Effingham High School, was recently presented with the Army Commendation Medal for his work while being deployed in Kuwait.
Budde attended Lincoln Technical Institute in 2005 and was employed at Irwin Telescopic for a year and a half before joining the Army.
He went through basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, in the fall of 2007. He was stationed in Hawaii from 2008-2012 but deployed from June 2011 to 2012. In late 2012 to December 2015, he moved to Germany. While he was in Hawaii and Germany, he worked as an imagery analyst.
Budde was deployed to Kuwait last year. During his time there, he worked as a special agent with the Army Criminal Investigation Command. His deployment in Kuwait is what earned him the medal.
In Kuwait, he was involved in sexual assault investigations, death investigations and stolen property. The other half of his role was making sure that people did training. He also helped organize the ranges, close casework paperwork sent to the crime records center and sending evidence to the evidence room in a timely manner.
Budde said every time something happened in Iraq, his group had to investigate.
"Sometimes, we were unable to get into Iraq or out of Iraq because our transportation would break down," he said.
When that happened, he would sometimes be in a camp for several weeks until a plan could be worked out. There was also the language barrier. He said that he worked with Kuwait police and would often have the need to use a translator.
After he returned from Kuwait, he was based out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, working with the Special Victims Unit.
He is currently in Knoxville, Tennessee, at the National Forensics Academy for training, which he will be doing for 10 weeks. Budde is learning about crime scene photography, latent prints, tire impressions and blood spatter.
After he completes training, he will be returning to Fort Bragg for a month then going to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, to be part of the Protective Services Battalion, which is part of the Criminal Investigation Division which provides protection for generals and other officials.
Crystal Reed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 217-347-7151 ext. 131.