Two Nellis Airmen receive Bronze Star Medal
By Master Sgt. Tonya Keebaugh
/ Published June 20, 2006
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. --
Two non-commissioned officers assigned to the 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron here have earned the Bronze Star Medal for their actions in Iraq.
Technical Sgts. Andrew Morin and Tyrone Sevening, both vehicle operations craftsmen, served as convoy commanders while assigned to 732nd Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron's Detachment 2632, which supported the 181st Transportation Battalion at Logistical Support Area Anaconda, Iraq, from September 2005 to January 2006.
The Bronze Star is earned by service members in all branches of the military for combat heroism, bravery or meritorious service.
The 99th Air Base Wing commander, Col. Michael Bartley, presented the two with their medals at a commander's call April 14 at the Base Theater. "It is my privilege to be standing on stage with these two war heroes," said the colonel after the presentation. "I'm honored to be able to recognize your service to our country."
Recognition is not something Sergeants Morin or Sevening sought out.
"I wish I could've given all my troops Bronze Stars, because I couldn't have earned it on my own - it was all because of them," said Sergeant Morin, whose call sign on the convoy was Raptor 14. "My squad was truly amazing."
Sergeant Sevening, Raptor 24, agreed. "I'm so proud to have served with the guys I did - the best feeling is not getting an award, but it's when the troops you're leading react to a situation the way they were trained."
Training was the #1 item on both NCO's agenda for their deployed troops on a daily basis.
"We took a lot of pride in what we were doing," said Sergeant Sevening, father to three girls. "I told my troops to not let their mistake be the reason my kids' father was killed and I would do the same. We took that training serious - my troops walked, talked and dreamed rock drills."
The training paid off many times for the two and their convoys. They both came under small-arms-fire ambushes and improvised exploding devices during their long trips through Iraq. Sergeant Morin stressed how his and his troops' reaction to any given event had to be fluid and automatic.
"Some of the lowest-ranking people on the convoy were making the calls from the lead vehicle - we had to trust that they were trained and ready to do their jobs," said Sergeant Morin, father of two. Their jobs entailed commanding the convoy security detail for the supply and fuel trucks traveling across the country.
Logistical Support Area Anaconda is one of the largest supply bases in Iraq. They logged tens of thousands of miles, escorted thousands of vehicles and endured numerous enemy engagements with zero casualties, according to the awards packages.
The two NCOs are now back at work in the 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron but their deployment experiences are close to the surface.
Both NCOs said the deployed experience taught them the value of strong family support, training, taking care of your troops and sleep.
The top lessons the two learned were the value of having strong family support, the value of training, the value of taking care of your troops and the value of sleep.
"Sleep was rare over there - it definitely became a priority," said Sergeant Morin.