SSgt. David Flowers received three medals—Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Combat Action—from Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz during CSAF’s June 23 visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where Flowers is undergoing care for wounds received while he was deployed to Afghanistan, according to a report by the Shreveport Times. Flowers, an explosive ordnance disposal specialist with the 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron at Barksdale AFB, La., lost much of his right leg and sustained extensive damage to his left, which doctors are trying to save through repeated surgeries. Flowers had deployed to Bagram Airfield and was with a team on May 11 investigating a suspected weapons cache when he stepped on an anti-personnel mine. At the ceremony, his unit commander, Lt. Col. David Chisenhall called Flowers “an outstanding warrior, airman, patriot, and loving husband.” He noted that Flowers is planning to return to duty as an EOD instructor.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.