Two from Robins earn Bronze Star Medals

  • Published
  • By Damian Housman
  • Warner Robins Air Logistics Center Public Affairs
Master Sgt Gary Chelette and Bryan Braud received the Bronze Star Medal on Monday for their actions in Iraq.

Sergeant Chelette, a crew chief with the 653rd Combat Logistics Support Squadron, distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding achievement in Iraq. He was tasked with building the new Iraqi Air Force from September 2006 to March 2007, and was exposed to enemy fire on many occasions.

Brig. Gen. Andy Busch, commander of the 402nd Maintenance Wing, presented him with his Bronze Star Medal in the ceremony.

"Sergeant Chelette is a C-130 crew chief to the core," said General Busch. Turning to Sergeant Chelette he said: "It is an honor to have served with you." He said Sergeant Chelette helped bring to fruition one of our wartime priorities, to give Iraq a self-sustaining national air force.

Sergeant Braud, a painter in the 402nd Aircraft Maintenance Group's F-15 shop, was a sergeant with the Georgia Army National Guard and was deployed to Iraq. He reenlisted in the National Guard following the events of Sept. 11 after a break in service.

He was a platoon sergeant for the battalion commander's security detachment, the platoon sniper and had several other duties. On one operation his unit took mortar fire, resulting in shrapnel wounds to his face, but he continued to fight.

On Jan. 12, 2006, while he was escorting a convoy in Iraq, the convoy hit an improvised explosive device. He was thrown from his vehicle, and received wounds to his knee, shoulder and arm.

Col. Larry Dudney, commander of the 48th Brigade, presented Sergeant Braud his medals in the ceremony Monday. He earned the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart and the Army Commendation Medal. After receiving medical treatment in Iraq and at a hospital in Germany, he was sent to Walter Reed Army Hospital for further treatment, followed by 15 months at the medical facility at Fort Gordon, Ga. He was medically retired.

"It is a privilege and an honor to serve with someone of Sergeant Braud's character," said Colonel Dudney. "Sergeant Braud embodies the warrior ethos."