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Mako receives Bronze Star

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Nickolas Swanson
  • 482nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office

Maj. Matthew R. Jones, 70th Aerial Port Squadron Commander, was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida, August 6.

The Bronze Star Medal, awarded to military members since 1944, is the fourth highest achievable medal. The Bronze Star is given for meritorious or heroic acts during an armed conflict against an enemy of the United States.

The medal was awarded to Jones for his service during a deployment as Flight Commander with the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, Erbil Air Base, Iraq.

From July 19, 2021, to January 22, 2022, Jones and his troops were exposed to imminent danger three times from unmanned aerial vehicles. Under Jones' leadership, 79 military members and civilians across five specialties were safely brought back home.

When Jones received the medal he said that his troops were the main reason for the achievement.

"I think they all were a piece of it, and that's how I look at it," said Jones. "I earned a little piece of the medal, but everyone there made up the whole medal."

During his deployment, Jones also oversaw multiple missions throughout Operation Inherent Resolve, transporting 12,000 passengers and 8,000 tons of cargo on 1,700 airlift missions.

At his ceremony, Jones thanked his fellow Airmen for their support and gave some advice.

"I'd like to say that anytime you have the opportunity to do something for your country and you can, step up and do it, just go out there and do it," said Jones. "This was a great opportunity for me, and I really enjoyed it."