Airman Gets Bronze Star with Valor

SSgt. Charles Holley, an airman with the 509th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Whiteman AFB, Mo., received a Bronze Star with Valor medal on Nov. 25, for his actions during a convoy mission in Tiqurit, Iraq, in 2008. Holley was manning the .50-caliber gun atop the convoy’s lead humvee, when an improvised explosive device exploded, bathing the vehicle—and him—in fire. Despite his own injuries—he ultimately suffered second-degree burns to his hands and face and took shrapnel in one leg—he tried to extract the bodies of the vehicle’s slain driver and convoy commander through the flames. He then refused medical treatment and helped return fire against insurgents in a nearby hut until the scene stabilized. Brig. Gen. Robert Wheeler, commander of Whiteman’s 509th Bomb Wing, presented Holley with the medal in a ceremony at the base. (Whiteman report by A1C Torey Griffith)