Fallen Airman Awarded Silver Star

The Air Force awarded SrA. Bradley R. Smith, a joint terminal attack controller who died in combat in Afghanistan in 2010, a posthumous Silver Star medal—the military’s third highest decoration for valor—during a ceremony in Troy, Ill. Maj. Gen. Lawrence Wells, 9th Air Force commander, presented the medal to Smith’s family. “I stand in awe of everything he accomplished in just four short years of Air Force service,” said Wells of Smith during the Sept. 8 ceremony. Smith was a member of the 10th Air Support Operations Squadron at Fort Riley, Kan. He died on Jan. 3, 2010, during a patrol in Kandahar province. He was part of a two-man team assisting an Army platoon, when an improvised explosive device detonated and killed two soldiers and seriously wounded Smith’s airman colleague, according to a release from Scott AFB, Ill. Despite intense enemy fire, Smith and an Army medic retrieved the casualties and applied first-aid. Smith continued coordinating close air support. He was killed in a second IED explosion as the medic and he attempted to retrieve another fallen soldier, states the release. (Scott report by Karen Petitt and second Petitt report on award ceremony)