Master Sergeant Kristopher Parker’s Silver Star

| March 20, 2017

AverageNCO tipped us to the story of now-retired Air Force Master Sergeant Kristopher Parker and the events of May 21, 2014 in the mountains of Kandahar Providence in Afghanistan that earned him a Silver Star Medal. From the Abilene Reporter News;

On May 21, 2014, during an air assault mission in Afghanistan, Parker and his team approached a cave expected to be filled with improvised explosives, ammunition and supplies. A nine-hour gunfight with enemy insurgents erupted.

During that fight, the group’s lieutenant was severely wounded, and Parker “just took the lead,” Rand said.

“He just led his way out, and he saved his men’s lives, and he saved the lives of soldiers and airmen,” he said.

Parker immediately returned fire, holding insurgents in the cave opening. His team came under attack by small arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades and hand-thrown improvised explosive devices

He directed suppressive fire and led the evacuation of the injured lieutenant, braving enemy direct fire while sweeping the engagement area for explosive devices, pulling troops to cover and aiding in timely evacuation of wounded personnel.

Parker engaged the enemy continually, suppressing and drawing fire upon himself while marking additional cache sites for avoidance by ground forces and later destruction by air strike.

Two other members of Parker’s team were submitted for Bronze Stars with Valor for their actions that day, according to Hill AFB’s website;

Senior Airman TJ Brantley and (then) Senior Airman Kyle Bushey…Bushey’s bravery and heroism selflessly put the lives of fellow Soldiers and Airmen before his own and directly enabled the trapped platoon to break contact and evacuate the wounded.

Throughout the grueling 10-hour mission, despite dehydration and a traumatic brain injury, Brantley stayed in the fight providing cover fire and exposing his body to protect the wounded. He was awarded the Air Force Combat Action Medal and the Purple Heart Medal.

Category: Air Force

Comments (13)

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  1. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Well, he was EOD so he came to the fight with steel balls. I would guess there is some satisfaction for an EOD team to be able to dose it out.

  2. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    An amazing story, thank you for posting. The courage displayed here is obvious to Helen Keller, steel balls indeed 2/17 AC massive steel balls.

  3. 2banana says:

    Why do the AF now fight like infantry?

    • Planet Ord says:

      They used to direct airstrikes from the air with Forward Air Controllers using, 0-1, and OV-10 platforms. Even during Vietnam they ran pilot programs putting pilots on the ground to talk to other close air support pilots. They found that was a better and cheaper way to accurately direct airstrikes close in to friendly troops. So, now AF combat controllers hump it with the grunts and talk Air Force with the pilots.

  4. OldSoldier54 says:

    Well done, Sarge!

    It always comes down to leadership.

  5. HMC Ret says:

    Props to the men involved and their bravery. It’s a welcome story amid some of the bogus claims of heroism we read almost daily.

    Well done, men. Thank you for your service.

  6. ex-OS2 says:

    True heroes, BZ.

  7. Wilted Willy says:

    BZ Indeed! You are all true heroes in my book! Maybe SUX DUX should try and do the same??

  8. Gary Carlson says:

    It don’t matter what unit or branch ur from once the pain comes…rockin it Air Force style

  9. Graybeard says:

    According to the newspaper, Parker is still trying to recover from the injuries sustained that day.

    I hope he has a good support group to help him through. Even a hero needs a battle buddy.

  10. clamsgotlegs says:

    Well done sirs. Well done.

  11. club manager says:

    Observe the difference between he real deal and some of the posers posing with a weapon. Note where his trigger finger is, safety first.

  12. ALVO says:

    The LEAST our country can do to honor this WARRIOR. I’m always humbled by men of his stature and ever GRATEFUL they are on our side.