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Kentucky Air National Guard Special Ops Tech. Sgt. Daniel Keller doesn't think his brave dash into the open during an ISIS firefight to help dead and wounded comrades is exceptional.
"It's a given; that's what you do," he told Military.com.
Keller is set to receive the nation's second-highest award for valor, the Air Force Cross, on Friday for his heroism in helping to medevac fallen troops during that battle in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province.
"It's a necessary task that has to occur to get your friends the help they need," he said. "Whoever's available, they're going to do it."
The bad guys and their improvised explosive devices couldn't hide from Marine Sgt. Yeager, a Purple Heart veteran of three tours in Afghanistan.
His specialty was route clearance, and he was credited with sniffing out dozens of roadside bombs in more than 100 combat patrols for his Marine buddies.
On April 12, 2012, Yeager and his handler, Lance Cpl. Abraham Tarwoe, were hit by one of those roadside bombs while on patrol in southwestern Helmand province with a unit from the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment.
Tarwoe, originally from Liberia, perished in the blast and Yeager was hit with shrapnel and lost part of an ear.
Yeager was one of four working dogs who received American Humane's K-9 Medal of Courage in a ceremony Tuesday at the Rayburn House Office Building.
Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis suggested Tuesday that the nation should think again about putting young men and women together in ground combat units at a time when they tend to "grow very fond of one another."
Regarding women serving on the battlefield, "I'm not against the issue intrinsically," he said, but added that more leadership guidance is necessary to implement such a major cultural and societal change.
Editor's Note: This article by Richard Sisk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.
A phony home care businessman has pleaded guilty to paying more than $1 million in bribes to a Veterans Affairs employee, who allegedly set up an elaborate scheme to defraud the VA's benefits program for children diagnosed with spina bifida of nearly $20 million, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Denver.
In his guilty plea, Roland Brown, 58, of Clearwater, Florida, admitted to being long-time friends with the employee and to working with him to set up a bogus home care company called Legacy Home Health, whose purpose was to submit false claims to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veterans may have wrongly been billed by the Department of Veterans Affairs for emergency room medical treatment at non-VA facilities totaling at least $53.3 million, according to the office of the VA Inspector General.
Following an audit, the IG estimated that "about 17,400 veterans, with bills totaling at least $53.3 million, were negatively affected" by either initial denial or ultimate rejection of their claims for reimbursement.
President Donald Trump wants U.S. forces out of Afghanistan, but top noncommissioned officers from the services and combatant commands maintain that troops are still eager to go there and to other combat zones.
The general attitude in the ranks on risky deployments is "quite the opposite" of what many might believe, said Army Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Metheny, the top noncommissioned officer for the NATO Resolute Support mission and U.S. Forces Afghanistan.
"They're disappointed when you have to tell them about the force caps" on the estimated 14,000 U.S. troops now in Afghanistan, Metheny said at Pentagon briefings Wednesday by senior NCOs on a range of issues.
The opportunity to deploy is also a factor in recruiting and retention, he said, pointing to what he said is a 108% retention rate for those serving in Afghanistan.