Honoring a Fallen Hero

SSgt. Todd Lobraico Jr. was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device during a ceremony at Stewart ANGB, N.Y. The Air Force honored the late Lobraico, a security forces airman with the New York Air National Guard’s 105th Airlift Wing, for his heroism during a firefight in Afghanistan in 2013. His parents, Lt. Col. Linda Rohatsch and MSgt. Todd Lobraico, accepted the award on his behalf during the April 11 ceremony, reported the Mid-Hudson News Network. Lobraico volunteered as point man to establish an observation point eight miles from Bagram Airfield on Sept. 5, 2013, when a larger, heavily armed insurgent force ambushed his team. “With total disregard for his own safety, he placed himself directly between his fire team and the insurgents, who unleashed a hellish barrage of rocket, grenade, and small arms fire,” according to the award citation. Lobraico immediately returned fire; he was lethally wounded while covering his team and directing it to safety. “His actions were instrumental in gaining fire superiority and the survival of his team,” states the citation. (105th AW release.)