U.S. Air Force Maj. Jesse Peterson and Tech. Sgt. Shane Hargis, 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, practice a hoist mission, April 22, 2011, the day before they were called upon to recover pilots of a downed helicopter. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Bill Cenna)
Tech. Sgt. Shane J. Hargis, Air Force Staff Sgt. Theodore M. Sierocinski and Capt. Koaalii C. Bailey stand during a medal ceremony after they received the Bronze Star Medal with Valor device, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Oct. 13, 2012. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Guy Hayes)
by Air Force Staff Sgt. N. Alicia Goldberger
Alaska National Guard Public Affairs
10/26/2012 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Three Alaska Air National Guardsmen with the 176th Wing's 212th Rescue Squadron were awarded Bronze Star Medals at an Oct. 13 ceremony at JBER.
Surrounded by friends and family, the Airmen received their medals for an act of heroism or meritorious achievement in a combat zone during 2010 or 2011 deployments.
A Bronze Star Medal is the fourth-highest combat award presented in the United States since the start of World War II. They are only awarded to those who perform acts of valor within areas of hazardous duty, as laid out in U.S. law.
Air Force Capt. Koaalii "Koa" C. Bailey, Tech. Sgt. Shane J. Hargis and Air Force Staff Sgt. Theodore "Ted" M. Sierocinski had their stories of valor read aloud to the crowd and in turn, were pinned with the medal.
"When you hear the citations read today for these warriors, there are many details between the lines that these gentlemen conducted in the face of extreme adversity," said Air Force Maj. Joseph Conroy, commander of the 212th RQS, during the ceremony.
He said the Airmen illustrated the bravery the people of their squadron and theAlaska Air National Guard stand for every day.
"I'm amazed on a day-to-day basis of what my personnel accomplish whether it's during deployments or here in Alaska conducting rescue missions," Conroy said.