Air Commandos Decorated for Valor

The Air Force presented the Silver Star Medal to Capt. Blake Luttrell and a Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device to SSgt. Daniel Resendez for their heroic actions in separate firefights in Afghanistan, reported the Fayetteville Observer. Both airmen are members of the 21st Special Tactics Squadron at Pope Field, N.C. “The whole community takes pride in you,” said Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel, Air Force Special Operations Command boss, during the Sept. 25 awards ceremony at Pope, according to the newspaper. On Jan. 9, Luttrell repeatedly put himself in harm’s way to direct air support against insurgent positions in Afghanistan’s Balkh province as his group retrieved the bodies of two Afghan commandos, according to the newspaper. He also fought his way into a cave to render aid to the group’s injured medic. Resendez was recognized for a firefight in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province in early May 2011. He knowingly exposed himself to insurgent fire to call in air strikes and indirect fire on the enemy positions, states the newspaper. He also directed medical helicopters to the scene. Luttrell is one of the airmen featured in the latest volume of the Air Force’s Portraits in Courage series.