KMC Airman receives Bronze Star for efforts in Iraq

Senior Airman Kerry Solan-Johnson
Kaiserslautern American

It was, in short, an ambush.

It is a story of blasts from multiple improvised explosive devices, small arms fire bursting from the grass, and a long wait, exposed on Iraq’s deadly roads.
But it’s a tale Tech. Sgt. Matthew Walter tells dismissively.

***image1***“They started it,” the Reynolds, Ind., native said. “So I had to do my job.”

For performing his job “in an unequaled manner” during his one-year tour in Iraq, as the machine gunner during the ambush and as part of an eight-man Air Force team providing security and training among thousands of Iraqi soldiers, Sergeant Walter, 569th U.S. Forces Police Squadron, was recently presented the Bronze Star Medal.

“(He) was the bedrock in the establishment of Camp Habbaniyah for the 1st Iraqi Intervention Force,” wrote Army Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq, in Sergeant Walter’s citation.

As part of the base defense unit area support team for MNSTC-I, he mentored and trained Iraqi Army personnel as a part of Multi-National Corps – Iraq’s plan to “facilitate pacification of Western Iraq.” He implemented security procedures, base defense plans, manning and training to facilitate transition of the Iraqi Army. He provided combat patrols for neighboring camps, and established relationships with locals, which resulted in the collection of valuable intelligence for coalition forces.

Sergeant Walter was deployed to Iraq August 2005 to July 2006 and is currently assigned to the 569th USFPS combat arms.