Airman earns second Silver Star

| July 24, 2013

Ismael Villegas

In the Air Force Times, is a story about Tech Sergeant Ismael Villegas who has been awarded a second Silver Star for his actions in Afghanistan in 2011;

During a battle early in the mission, a friendly element was pinned down by hostile fire. Villegas ran toward the troops to get a sight on the insurgent’s position. While completely exposed to the small arms fire, Villegas coordinated with an overhead remotely piloted aircraft and fixed-wing air support to drop 14,000 pounds of bombs.

In another instance, Villegas volunteered for a patrol to explore the area, and his team came under enemy fire. The group was inside a structure, stacked up on a door, when an RPG hit. Shrapnel shredded the wall in front of them and hit a Green Beret soldier next to him.

“I heard the screams, so I grabbed him, pulled him back and began directing air support in the area,” he said.

Villegas moved between his team and the enemy, providing additional cover fire and controlled close air support within 60 meters of him to stop the onslaught and help the patrol fight their way over the kill zone.

From Stars & Stripes;

A Silver Star citation credited Villegas, a native of Mexico City, with controlling 40 aircraft that dropped 32,500 pounds of bombs over his 18-day mission. It also said he constantly risked his life during a series of engagements.

Thanks to David for the links.

Category: Air Force, Real Soldiers

Comments (26)

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  1. Hondo says:

    Damn well done, TSgt Villegas. Truly well-deserved kudos and honors.

    Twice? Guess that means he needs to get a wheelbarrow. Otherwise, he’s go genna get awful tired carrying around his size XXL . . . well, nevermind. (smile)

  2. Twist says:

    Well done TSgt, well done.

    I wonder how many service members have earned more than one SS during the current conflicts.

  3. Old Trooper says:

    @2: It depends. Do we count the SV types? Because most of them had 2 before they left the house.

    As for TSgt Villegas; outstanding!

  4. MAJMike says:

    Shai Dorsai!

  5. AtDrum says:

    Fish Chips and Mutton is the meal from a Young Worlder like a Dorsai…

    “Be prepared to appreciate what you meet.” is a good ole Fremen saying…

  6. rb325th says:

    Congrats, and just inspiring bravery.

  7. Ex-PH2 says:

    Nice to see there are still real men in the next generations.

  8. NHSparky says:

    Twist–I can find half a dozen doing a quick Google search, but your point is well made–it’s not nearly as common as one would imagine.

  9. Twist says:

    Sparky, I know I could have articulated that better. I need to stop posting before PT and my first cup o’ joe.

  10. NHSparky says:

    PT? Whazzat? (smile)

    Hall of Heroes lists MOST (not all) of the Silver Star, etc., recipients in the GWOT, but doesn’t include classified (?) ones. For example, I went there looking for Chris Kyle’s SS awards but neither was listed, nor was Michael Monsoor’s, for example.

  11. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    I have said it before and will say it again, Pararescue and Combat Air Controllers are as bad ass as they come. My Tier 1 NSW friends always travel with them.

    Good job SGT … stay fit and get back into the fight!

  12. FrostyCWO says:

    I will refrain from thinking that the USAF are mostly wussies for at least 48 hours.

  13. Retired Master says:

    Frosty, you are just jealous!!!!!!

  14. Retired Master says:

    Job well done TSgt Villegas, true looking out for your team!

  15. Jon The Mechanic says:

    It sucks that he will never be able to fly due to his inability to get through the metal detectors at the airport. Also I am just curious if his neighbors are getting tired of hearing him clanking when he walks down the driveway with the trash.

  16. OWB says:

    THIS is the USAF in which I served! Well done, TSG Villegas.

    Thanks for refraining (even if it is only for 48 hours) from the inevitable lack of respect for us, Frosty. Much appreciated.

    (Just curious: When needing some air support, do you grunts really care much how many push-ups the guy receiving your call might be able to do or instead how fast he can punch the buttons to get you what you need as quickly as possible? Oh, never mind. We all know the answer.)

  17. Susan says:

    Dear Mexico,

    If you have more of this these men, I will gladly open the border for them. Would you be willing to take 10 or so of our posers in exchange?


  18. Sparks says:

    @18 Well said. LMAO with coffee through the nose.

  19. Sparks says:

    This is the Air Force I remember as well. Bet he didn’t have someone stab him to get out of his PT test. Well done and all my respect and honor to you TSG Villegas!!!

  20. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    @ 18 … OUTSTANDING … cc the State Department!

  21. Common Sense says:

    TSG Villagas is the kind of immigrant this country could use millions of. I thank him for his service to his adopted country.

  22. 68W58 says:

    Twist-there was one incidence of an Army medic who had two Silver Stars from Afghanistan, but the second one was posthumous.

  23. ExHack says:

    @18, how about we promise NOT to send any posers to Mexico in exchange? You think the Mexicorns want any goldbricking phonies?

    JWD, Tech Sergeant. Thank you for your service!

  24. Just An Old Dog says:

    @24 Posers? Posers? Posers!!!

  25. JR says:

    If he decides to stay in, he’s pretty much a shoo-in for Chief Master Sergeant, isn’t he?