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Bronze Star Medal with Valor Recipient

TSgt Jason Dryer

Operation Enduring Freedom

July 11, 2007

The following is an exercpt from:

Another reluctant hero honored during the ceremony was Tech. Sgt. Jason Dryer, who received a Bronze Star with Valor and a Purple Heart for two separate incidents during a deployment to Afghanistan earlier this year. 

Sergeant Dryer received the Purple Heart for wounds he received when the Humvee he and his Army Special Forces team were riding in triggered an improvised explosive device. The group was on their way to educate local Afghani civilians on the Taliban threat in the area and to warn them of the presence of IEDs throughout the countryside when the vehicle was hit. 

The blast from the IED blew Sergeant Dryer more than 30 feet from the vehicle, knocking him unconscious, breaking several bones, and severely injuring his shoulder and a knee. About two hours later Sergeant Dryer regained consciousness in the arms of one of his Army teammates to the sound F-15s providing protection from above. 

When he came to, Sergeant Innis' first thoughts were those typical of a combat controller. 

"My first thought was, 'I've only been here six weeks, I'm not ready to go home yet,'" he said. "I even remember dreaming about it while I was unconscious." 

Sergeant Dryer was evacuated to Kandahar Air Base where he was treated in the hospital. 

Thanks to the immediate first aid he received in the field and the follow-on care at the hospital, Sergeant Dryer's dreams came true and he rejoined his team at their forward operating base only a few days later. 

He was able to serve the remainder of his deployment, and even earned a Bronze Star with Valor for actions during a firefight with Taliban forces a few months after his injuries. During that engagement, Sergeant Dryer as able to accurately direct 40 mm fire from an AC-130 gunship on an enemy target no more than 70 meters from his team's position. 

Despite being seriously injured during his last deployment, Sergeant Dryer's focus now is on fully recovering and preparing his body for his next turn in the fight. 

"This is the job I've trained a quarter of my life to do," said Sergeant Dryer, who also received an Air Force Combat Action Medal during the ceremony. "I love it. I'm looking forward to deploying and doing it all again." 

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