Stationed at: Ramstein Air Base, Germany
Col. Earl Matthews, 435th Air Base Wing commander, awarded Staff Sgt. Jayson Wells, team leader of the 332nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight, Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq, the Bronze Star medal Jan. 24 for meritorious conduct from Jan. 9 to June 25, 2007, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sergeant Wells was deployed from the 435th Civil Engineer Squadron.
1. How did you feel when you found out you were to receive the Bronze Star? Humbled.
2. What was your role in your deployed location?Quick Reaction Force EOD team leader.
3. Where were you deployed to?Anaconda, Iraq.
4. What were some of the defining moments of your deployment? Watching my friends get blown up but hearing their voices over the radio saying they were OK. It was the only day in Iraq 2 EOD teams were traveling in the same convoy together and both teams were hit by improvised explosive devices.
5. Describe the relationship with your Army counterparts if any. Life changing. When a man is willing to die for you so that you can do your job, the relationship is life changing. Words cannot express my gratitude for Sergeant First Class Thomas, Staff Sgt. Reinhard, Staff Sgt. McGarity, or any of the guys from the 3-8 Cav.
6. Was there a specific event on your citation? Can you describe that event, if there was one? Please include what you saw, heard, and felt. No. There wasn't an event that stands out more than the rest. The citation only describes one day of many. All I can say is that the things I saw, heard, felt and experienced can only be shared with those that were there and a few people known as "EOD techs."
7. Anything you would like to add from your feeling on this honor is very much appreciated. Thanks to God for letting me live. Thanks to my family for their support. Thanks to my CE commanders who ensured we had the gear and training necessary to get the job done.