4 guardsmen awarded Bronze Star Medals

FAIRBANKS — Four Alaska Air National Guardsmen have been awarded Bronze Star Medals for service on overseas missions.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Maj. Matthew Komatsu, Chief Master Sgt. Paul Barendregt, Master Sgt. Kyle Minshew were honored for efforts Sept. 14, 2012.

Insurgents attacked Camp Bastion in Afghanistan that day. Komatsu, Barendregt and Minshew responded to the attack, entered into the conflict and began medical support of soldiers engaged in the fighting.

Senior Airman Andrew Nichols was honored for actions a year earlier.

He and another crew member rushed to recover a soldier with critical gunshot wounds. They brought the wounded soldier to a rescue helicopter. Nichols stabilized the soldier and was credited with saving his life.

The four were honored at a ceremony Saturday at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson

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