On July 3, Sgt. James Spreter, of Juneau, was awarded the Bronze Star, the fourth-highest combat award of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Spreter served in Southern Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom as a joint terminal attack controller for the 14th Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron from January to September 2007. He led Tactical Air Control Party operations in an extremely hostile environment, including one engagement where, as numerous enemy personnel loaded into a vehicle, he cleared a Predator to destroy the vehicle. The attack killed eight insurgents, including a key Taliban leader.
"You just keep rolling on until it's all over," Spreter said. "You don't think about not sleeping or anything.
"The medal is a nice appreciation from those above me, but the biggest appreciation is when those guys you live next to and sleep in a hole with are able to come back home."
Spreter grew up in Juneau and attended Juneau-Douglas High School then transferred and graduated from Alaska Military Academy at Fort Richardson. In 2000, he enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces and is now stationed in Fayetteville, N.C., where he lives with his wife Rebekah and two daughters, Melissa and Kadence.