Slain Airman Awarded Silver Star

Capt. Nathan Nylander, who died April 27 helping his comrades when a disgruntled Afghan air force officer attacked US air advisors at Kabul International Airport, posthumously received the Silver Star medal for his valor. Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz presented the Silver Star to Nylander’s widow and three children during a Sept. 24 ceremony at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. “Our nation was blessed with such a brave and generous airman,” said Schwartz, reported the Arizona Daily Star. He told the children: “You need to know how proud we are of your father. Your dad is an inspiration to me.” Nylander, 35, was assigned to Davis-Monthan’s 25th Operational Weather Squadron. He was serving in Kabul with the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing. Nylander evacuated a group of airmen and Afghan personnel from the conference room he was in when the Afghan officer began his shooting attack. Nylander then went into a hallway and helped engage and wound the Afghan. Nylander began assisting the wounded, believing that the Afghan officer was incapacitated. But he was fatally wounded when the Afghan resumed the attack. A total of eight airmen and one US contractor died in the shooting. (For more on the shooting, read Friendly Fire.) (See also Davis-Monthan release.)