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Fort Bragg airmen honored for valor

Posted April 11, 2014

— The members of the 21st Special Tactics Squadron at Pope Army Airfield execute dangerous missions very close to enemy lines.

On Friday, about 50 of the airmen received 161 medals for their actions while deployed in Afghanistan.

Among them were Staff Sgt. Jordan Killam, who was awarded a Bronze Star. Sr. Airman Devon Butcher received one, too. He rushed to help fellow airmen wounded after their vehicle hit a bomb.

"Basically, our convoy hit a 250-pound improvised explosive device buried in the ground,” Butcher said. “We had some individuals who were pretty messed up from that.”

His commander said Butcher moved to pull enemy fire towards him, which saved lives. Butcher’s family members came from Montana to attend the awards ceremony at Fort Bragg.

“I think it was heroism,” his father, Perry Butcher, said. “He put himself out there to save others.”

None of the airmen receiving medals Friday considers himself a hero.

“What I would say about those guys is the valor they show on the battlefield – the uncommon valor – is common,” Lt. Commander Jason Self said. “That’s what I think is unique about special tactics. They continue day in and day out, every single one of them, to do heroic, courageous acts.”


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