This last Friday I was able to watch A be awarded his bronze star. Its been almost a year and a half since the Major he worked with in his last deployment awarded it to him, the reason it took so long is because this award came from the Army and had to go through the Air Force. I was a little teary eyed when he was being promoted, especially when they listed out why he was awarded this medal, and that he was awarded by someone who was with him on that deployment was just amazing to me.
In 2011 A was deployed with the 3rd Batalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team for his support and performance in Panjwai, AFG.
A says its a team effort, he's right, it comes from the guys on the ground to the guys in the air.. its all of the branches and gratitude is given to any and all who were with A on that deployment.. I know how hard it was for him, I know that watching your friends pass or be injured isn't easy and I think the thing that stuck out most was when the Col said
"in his job *insert A's rank/name here* saved 200 lives, 200 people are celebrating holidays today with their families."
Two-hundred ... and you know what A said when a reporter asked him how he felt?
Humbled, he was just doing what every other JTAC has done for years, he was just recognized for it.
A has never been one to be proud of himself and he is far to humble about the situation.. and I think its funny when people say "you should be proud of him" oh man, you all have no idea how proud I am.
In the last three years I have watched this man walk away to war every year and for the last three years I have waited for him to come home, and I have been very lucky to welcome him home every time I've sent him off... I have heard the difficulties, seen him age 10 years because of the stress and listened to the stories when they get together.. you never really know until they speak about it.. things are different from when we first met.. we are his family and that is an amazing feeling. Everyday I am proud of him, every minute he's here with me I am proud and every time I watch him walk away to get on a plane to Afghanistan I am proud. But to hear the way his superiors and the men he supported while on his last deployment speak about him makes me swell with pride.
A after he was awarded, I may post more pictures when I get them from the professional photographer who was there.
A, you have amazed me for three years and I know you will continue to do so for hopefully the rest of our lives. I love you.