Pararescueman Awarded Bronze Star with Valor

MSgt. Ivan Ruiz, a pararescueman with the 56th Rescue Squadron, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor at RAF Lakenheath, England, for his “outrageous acts of heroism” against enemy forces in Afghanistan in 2013. While assigned to the 22nd Expeditionary Special Tactics Squadron as a special operations medic and advisor, Ruiz exposed himself to enemy fire in order to fire back against the enemy. He helped repel multiple enemy attacks and contributed to 103 insurgent deaths, according to a US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa release. The venue and size of the audience in attendance for the Oct. 27 presentation made it even more special, said Lt. Col. Jared Herbert, 56th Rescue Squadron commander. “It’s special that the wing commander chose this venue in front of this many people to recognize him and his accomplishments down range, especially with combat valor,” he said. Ruiz attributed his recognition to all of his fellow pararescuemen. “I love all my brothers, and the best part about my job is them,” he said.