Army veteran Clarence Smoyer, the 'Hero of Cologne' who helped take the town of Cologne, Germany in March 1945 as tank gunner with the famous 'Eagle 7' M26 Pershing tank crew, finally received the Bronze Star nearly 75 years after his battlefield heroics.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Aaron Metzger was awarded the Bronze Star with a valor device for his heroism during an hours-long firefight with Taliban militants that saw him overcome significant injuries from both grenade shrapnel and gunfire to save the lives of his teammates.
Air Combat Command chief Gen. Mike Holmes presented Metzger, assigned to the 38th Rescue Squadron at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia, with his Bronze Star on Monday.
The Army awarded a Bronze Star with a valor device to an artillery soldier for risking his life to save wounded personnel before obliterating enemy positions with 60mm mortar rounds during an intense engagement with ISIS fighters in Afghanistan.
Hailed as a hero for knocking a shooter off his feet in a UNC Charlotte classroom, Riley Howell was posthumously awarded two of the military's highest honors in his hometown of Waynesville, North Carolina this week.
Howell, 21, and classmate Ellis "Reed" Parlier, 19, died when a gunman opened fire in their classroom in the Kennedy building on April 30.
From day one, the November 2004 offensive to clear Fallujah, Iraq, of enemy fighters was a grueling block-by-block fight. Deadly ambushes, booby-trapped houses, and an entrenched and well-prepared force of insurgent fighters harried the Marines every step of the way forward during the Second Battle of Fallujah. Eight days into the fight, it was just as unforgiving.