Local Soldier Receives Bronze Star For Service In Afghanistan

Sgt. Daniel Shepard Garrett

Staff Sgt. Daniel Shepard Garrett (‘Shep’) – a 1998 graduate of Staunton River High School – has been awarded the fourth-highest combat award of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Garrett, who has served nine years in the US Air Force with an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team and is now stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, has served two tours in Iraq and returned in September from his 2nd tour in Afghanistan.

Col. Sal Nodjomian, 96th Air Base Wing commander, presented Tech. Sgt Garrett the Bronze Star medal for his service as an explosive ordnance disposal team leader while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom during a commander’s call at the Eglin Enlisted Hall.

“I feel very honored to stand on the same stage as [this] serviceman,” said Nodjomian.

The Bronze Star is a United States Armed Forces military decoration that may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service.

“When I think of the folks that came before [me] and earned this medal ? to know I’m a part of them, makes me proud to wear this medal,” said Garrett.

During a mission into the Zana Khan district of Afghanistan, his patrol encountered heavy enemy contact. Garrett positioned his driver to engage the enemy as he directed his gunner to provide covering fire for dismounted soldiers. Under his leadership, the patrol suppressed the enemy until air support arrived. He also destroyed 3,500 pounds of enemy explosives and prevented the potential assassination of Afghan government officials.

After completing six month tours Garrett was excited to be home, just in time for the holiday season.

“We are very proud of them for everything they do,” said Garrett’s wife Christine Garrett, speaking about all the soldiers receiving awards at the ceremony. “They don’t make a big deal when they receive awards, so it means a lot to us to see them getting the recognition they deserve.”

Parents, Danny and Judy Garrett, live in Hardy. “We are very proud of ‘Shep’ for his sacrifice and service in the cause of freedom for everyone here in America and for others around the world.  We are grateful for all of our brave men and women who have served and who serve now that all people may always know that freedom.  May we all understand the responsibility that we share to preserve that liberty for all men.  To live in freedom is a blessing that all deserve.”

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