Retired Brig. Gen. Jim Mackey presents the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor citation to Lt. Col. Anthony Roe, a flight commander with the 303d Fighter Squadron, during a ceremony at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., Nov. 2, 2019 (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Alex Chase)

The A-10 Warthog and its brave pilots solidified their reputation as the infantry's guardian angels earlier this month when two Missouri-based airmen received one of the military's most prestigious medals for their role in saving dozens of grunts, engineers and special forces under heavy fire in Afghanistan.

The Distinguished Flying Cross is rarely awarded, let alone awarded twice on the same day to two members of the same fighter squadron, Lt. Col. Rick Mitchell, commander of the 303rd Fighter Squadron, told more than 200 onlookers at the ceremony at Whiteman Air Force Base on Nov. 2.

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