***image1***Capt. Joshua Tyler, 506th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight commander, is the recipient of the Bronze Star medal, awarded for meritorious conduct.
FEELINGS ABOUT RECEIVING THE BRONZE STAR “I was honored and humbled. The medal is a reflection of all the great things my Airmen did during our six-month deployment. I wish every one of them could receive it and I’m humbled by the sacrifices, both physical and mental, that they made everyday. I also accept it with a heavy heart because it reminds me of the valor and courage of our Explosive Ordnance Disposal brothers and sisters that didn’t make it home to their families or were wounded trying to save others.”
ROLE IN DEPLOYED LOCATION “I served as the 506th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight commander, comprised of operators from various home-station bases.”
DEFINING MOMENTS OF DEPLOYMENT “The most defining moment of my deployment was the loss of one of my three-person teams while returning from a mission. They were attacked by anti-Iraq forces and didn’t make it through the incident. It was difficult on all of us and reminded us of the dangers we faced everyday. Another moment in the deployment, I found myself playing in an Iraqi police station with a bunch of local kids while waiting for an operation to begin. They didn’t have a care in the world. With luck, our sacrifices will keep it that way.”
RELATIONSHIP WITH ARMY COUNTERPARTS “My team provided EOD support for the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team/25th Infantry Division at three forward operating bases and two patrol bases. We cleared and disposed of improvised explosive devices, vehicle-born IEDs, and weapons caches. Additionally, we collected valuable intel for the counter-IED fight and were the brigade IED experts. We also mentored and trained the Kirkuk Iraqi Police Bomb Disposal Company.”
WHAT HE SAW “My citation talks about an escalation of force incident that resulted in suspect anti-Iraqi forces being injured. The vehicle had seven individuals, including a little girl. Everyone in the car was injured but the little girl. I aided a lady with a severe gun-shot wound to the arm and fragmentation to the head. They were all scared, but calmed down when we began to help them. All seven lived.”
HIS EXPERIENCE “I’d like to thank my wife and the spouses and family of my team for supporting us throughout our deployments and TDYs.”