Thursday, July 25, 2013


From the Usual USAF Source...
Combat Controllers Awarded Silver Star
Air Force Special Operations Command chief Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel presented TSgt. Ismael Villegas and SSgt. Dale Young each with a Silver Star Medal for gallantry in combat on separate occasions near Helmand province, Afghanistan. The award ceremony took place on July 22 at JBSA-Lackland, Tex., where both combat controllers are currently assigned, according to a base release. Villegas is now the Air Force's only two-time Silver Star recipient currently on active duty, states the release. "Gentlemen, your bravery and tenacity epitomize what being a warrior is all about," said Fiel. "Your stories are truly inspiring." The Air Force recognized Villegas for his heroics "during nonstop enemy engagements" from Feb. 6-24, 2011. He controlled numerous strike aircraft that took out eight enemy fighting positions and killed more than 20 insurgents. He also gathered intelligence at great risk and pulled to safety a teammate hit by shrapnel. The Air Force honored Young for his actions from May 19-23, 2009, when he was under continuous enemy fire for 94 hours. He controlled coalition aircraft and ensured effective fires on enemy positions; this mission also resulted in the destruction of "more than $1 billion in black tar opium," states the release. (Lackland report by Mike Joseph)
Close inspection of the photo reveals TSgt Villegas also has a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, in addition to his two Silver Stars.  The actions in February 2011 definitely wasn't his first rodeo; the sergeant has been deployed eight times in his 16 year career. 

This release also makes me wonder why the process for awarding medals takes so damned long... in that SSgt Young waited over four years before he was presented with his Silver Star.  Sergeant Young had this to say about that:
"I was surprised," Young said. "It was submitted as a Bronze Star with Valor and after statements from some of my team members, different boards recommended an upgrade to Silver Star. It's an honor."
Well, sorta, eh?  "Different boards." One wonders how many boards hoops this sergeant had to jump through, but I suppose it doesn't matter in the end.

Congratulations, Sergeants Villegas and Young.  Your nation is proud of you.


  1. "The wheels of government..."

    If I remember another quote:
    "Blessed are those who run in circles, for they shall be known as wheels."

    1. ...or another:
      "When you're worried.
      Or in doubt,
      Run in circles.
      Scream, and shout!"


Just be polite... that's all I ask.