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FIVE BRONZE STARS FOR EOD AIRMAN

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EOD Specialist Has Disarmed 200 IEDs
By Harold Hutchison

An Air Force EOD specialist has joined an exclusive club – Air Force personnel who have received five awards of the Bronze Star. Tech. Sgt. Ronnie Brickey received the medal on 22 March.

The Bronze Star is a relatively rare award for the Air Force, since it cannot be awarded for actions involving aerial flight. Brickey is only the fifth Airman to receive the Bronze Star five times.

Brickey’s fifth Bronze Star came from actions on 1 June, 2011. He had discovered three IEDs, and disarmed two when his came under fire. He protected his team of 20 U.S. soldiers, four Canadian soldiers, and two Afghan National Security Forces members. He still managed to disarm the third IED, without causing an accidental detonation.

"I love being an EOD technician," Brickey said. "I often felt like a kid on Christmas morning when I would walk down a dirt path in Afghanistan and identify a buried IED. Knowing that a life is saved every time I remove an IED from the battlefield is one of the greatest feelings in the world."