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Bronze Star for New York Soldier

GLENVILLE, NY New York Army National Guard Sergeant Joshua Young has received the Bronze Star with V Device for rescuing his platoon sergeant after a massive explosion in Afghanistant in 2012.

Young, who is currently assigned to the New York Guard’s 1018th Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) but performed the heroic actions while serving with the Army’s 760th Ordnance Battalion, received the honor in July.

“It’s weird, I’m not sure what all the hubbub is all about,” Young says. His actions indicate otherwise. On March 16, 2012, Young was attached to Company A, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, which was operating in Siah Choy, Afghanistan. Young was accompanying the platoon as the EOD team leader on a mission to demolish a wall in the village of Manezai that was blocking the view of a key supply road.

After the platoon moved into place, 50 enemy fighters began firing AK-47s and mortar rounds. One of the rounds detonated 400 pounds of C4 that had been placed along the wall, incapacitating the entire squad. While the rest of the platoon sought cover, Young sprinted across open ground through dust and settling debris.

He searched for and found the platoon sergeant 50 feet away from the center of the blast, buried under debris and with burns on more than 60 percent of his body. Young ignored enemy fire to find the medic to begin treatment, and then helped evacuate him. After that, Young returned to complete the wall’s demolition.

“The military awards very few Bronze Star medals for valor, indicating that Josh demonstrated a level of extreme personal courage and selfless service,” says New York Army National Guard Brigadier General Michael Swezey, who presented Young with his medal.

– Story by MSG Corine Lombardo; Photo by SGT Bryce T. Wright