78th Security Forces Squadron captain earns Bronze Star Medal

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Sequoiya Lawson
  • 78th ABW/PA
The love of family and great team members are what Capt. Jason Hamman said kept him focused on the mission during his recent deployment, which led to him being awarded the Bronze Star Medal Dec. 3.

"It's a huge honor," said Captain Hamman, a 78th Security Forces Squadron member. "I'll look at it every day and be able reflect back on the time I spent with the Army and deployed with the great Airmen on my team."

Deployed from mid-March to September, Captain Hamman served as the Joint Defense Operations Center battle captain in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom Army operations in Logistical Support Area Anaconda, Balad Air Base, Iraq.

"We prevented a young (local) national girl who was being treated at the Air Force Theater Hospital from being kidnapped by an insurgent," said the captain as he described one of many experiences. "She was later returned to her family and the insurgent was arrested."

Captain Hamman's narrative that accompanied his award described his outstanding professional skill and leadership as he led a team of more than 120 Soldiers and Airmen and conducted joint and integrated base defense operations permitting base missions to continue uninterrupted.

His day-to-day success along with several other accomplishments led to Captain Hamman being recognized as the company grade officer of the month for the Iraq area of operations, acknowledging him as number one of more than 700 officers in Iraq.

"Amazing work by an amazing officer," said Col. Warren Berry, 78th Air Base Wing vice commander who presented the award. "The bronze star is given only to people who meet the enemy in the heat of battle. That's what we deploy our defenders to do today in our Air Force doing non-routine Air Force missions and going outside the wire.

Layovers due to inclement weather couldn't stop Captain Hamman's parents from traveling from Red Oak, Iowa to witness the ceremony.

"We flew through an ice storm to get here," said Beverly Hamman of her and her husband Kenny. "We wouldn't miss this for anything."

The Hamman's said although they weren't thrilled hearing about the danger Captain Hamman faced on his deployment at the ceremony for the first time, they were extremely proud of his accomplishments and glad he made it home. So was his wife, even though his absence took a toll.

"It was tough. Throughout his job we've been separated a lot, but the deployment was different," said his wife Rebecca Hamman of dealing with being left behind during the captain's first deployment. "We missed our first anniversary, my birthday and his birthday. Getting the limited amount of phone calls, hearing his voice on the phone knowing he was okay is what helped me through," she said.

The captain said knowing his family was back home supporting him helped him adjust. And coming back was nearly as tough as leaving.

"There are 120 (members of my team) still over there and it was hard for me to leave them," said Captain Hamman. "We were able to bring home the five members of Team Robins and I just want to thank everyone who worked with me."

Captain Hamman has been assigned to Robins since November 2006, and plans to separate under one of the 2008 force shaping programs.