The Romanian military has honored three U.S. soldiers who were killed recently by a roadside bomb that also injured a Romanian lieutenant colonel.

Lt. Gen. Teodor Frunzeti, chief of staff of Romanian Land Forces, awarded the Emblem of Honor of Land Forces and the Emblem of Merit "In Service of Peace" 3rd Class to the men posthumously in a ceremony held Jan. 16 in Bucharest.

The awards express "our deep respect and consideration for the supreme sacrifice made by the three soldiers in the name of freedom," Frunzeti was quoted as saying in a news release issued by the Romanian Ministry of National Defense. "As American and Romanian soldiers of Land Forces train and fight together, we also honor our heroes together," he said.

Maj. Brian M. Mescall, 33, of Hopkinton, Mass.; Spc. Joseph M. Hernandez, 24, of Hammond, Ind.; and Spc. Jason R. Parsons, 24, of Lenoir, N.C., were killed Jan. 9 when a roadside bomb struck their Humvee near Jaldak, a small town near Qalat, the capital of Zabul province. Hernandez was posthumously promoted to corporal, and Parsons, to sergeant.

Lt. Col. Augustin Nicusor Pegulescu, of the Romanian Land Forces, was injured in the blast and was recuperating at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

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