Airman Awarded Bronze Star with Valor

MSgt. Christopher Banks was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor during an Aug. 13 ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan, for actions taken in the line of fire. Banks was a ground medic deployed from Offutt AFB, Neb., who was working as an advisor with the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing, when a disgruntled Afghan air force officer opened fire April 27 in a building at the Kabul International Airport, killing eight airmen and one US contractor. Banks risked his own life to provide medical triage to wounded airmen in the building. He then helped transport the victims to a nearby Afghan medical facility where he continued to render aid. “This is a very bittersweet moment for me, both personally and professionally, and I am very much honored,” said Banks. “No military medic ever wants to hear the words, ‘medic’ or ‘corpsman up.’ I feel I did what any other airmen in the same situation would have done and did my best to help my fallen comrades.” Five other members of the same unit were awarded Joint Service Commendation Medals, including four with valor, for their response following the same tragedy. (Kabul report by Capt. Jamie Humphries)