12/06/05 — Airman receives Bronze Star for courage in battle

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Airman receives Bronze Star for courage in battle

By Turner Walston
Published in News on December 6, 2005 1:52 PM

Military authorities say Senior Airman Justin Frewin is a hero.

Frewin, 24, said he was just doing his job when he helped save a comrade's life during an ambush in Iraq last year.

The Air Force recognized Frewin's actions Nov. 30 by awarding him a Bronze Star for valor. The ceremony was held at the Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Bronze Star

News-Argus/Kaye Nesbit

Col. Mike Holmes, commander of the 4th Fighter Wing, pins the Bronze Star medal of valor onto the uniform of Senior Airman Justin R. Frewin.

Frewin was a member of an explosive ordinance response team that had been ordered to examine a vehicle for possible explosives after its driver was killed at a checkpoint south of Baghdad.

As his partner checked the vehicle, Frewin waited nearby. Suddenly, they came under mortar fire. Frewin was almost hit by one round but ignored the heavy fire to run to a Humvee and drive to his partner's rescue. Neither was hurt.

Frewin said he simply tried to stay focused under pressure.

"My mindset was to get out of that area and go," he said.

4th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Mike Holmes said Frewin is like many military personnel who would not take credit for heroism. Most say they are just performing as they have been trained, Holmes said.

"That's what they all say when they do the right thing under difficult circumstances," Holmes said.

"I'm proud of the example that you've set for all of us," the colonel said as he pinned the medal on Frewin.

Tech. Sgt. Michelle Barefield, Frewin's supervisor at Seymour Johnson, said the medal is a reminder of the sacrifices military personnel are willing to make to get a mission accomplished.

"He was willing to do his job, whatever it takes. He had to leave his cover to get to the Humvee to do that," she said.

Frewin offered few words at the ceremony.

"I'm too modest for this type of award," the Illinois native said.

Col. Lennie Coleman said the award was a testament to Frewin's commitment to his fellow airmen. Coleman is commander of the 4th Mission Support Group.

"He just reacted and did the right thing and saved another airman's life. He's modest about it, but we're real proud of him. It's that type of commitment to your fellow airmen that makes the Air Force what it is today," Coleman said.