His dedication, courage earned him Bronze Star
By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on April 1, 2011 1:46 PM
Staff Sgt. Victor Snyder credits his courage to his family -- wife Kate and 4-year-old daughter Daphne. Snyder's service in the United States Air Force has earned him the Bronze Star.
Victor Snyder had no idea his mission was so critical.
"The way we like to put it is we're a jack of all trades, master of nothing," he said. "Whenever there's something that needs to be coordinated with transportation, anything regarding logistics at all, we kind of just figure out what the problem is and how to fix it."
So when the 26-year-old staff sergeant returned from Afghanistan earlier this year, he chose to focus on coping with the fact that his tour was finally complete -- reconnecting with his wife and 4-year-old daughter -- instead of wondering who might have noticed his effort and attitude during the daily grind at Bagram Airfield.
"It hard to get your mind off the previous tour. It's hard to actually leave there mentally," he said. "Physically, you get on the plane and leave. Mentally, I'm still there -- trying to come back home."
To this day, his thoughts, at times, are still back at Bagram.
Even now, weeks after a package rarely received by an Air Force log planner arrived at his house -- one containing a Bronze Star Medal.
"I didn't know how to react -- how to receive it, I guess. I still don't know how to look at it, honestly," Synder said. "It's something I never expected to receive. I mean, I knew it was an important job and I knew I was making sure I did everything I could to make sure the job got done, but to say that it was that important, it surprised me a little bit."
During his tour, Snyder was credited with the planning and execution of more than 400 airdrops.
"We used any means available to get the bullets, food and water to the people who needed it," he said.
But it was his "superior performance" and "expertise" that blew his commanders away -- that led them to put him up for the coveted decoration he now wears.
Snyder, though, would tell you he is just another airman.
"I'd like to think that any other log planner in there would have been able to step in and do the same job," he said.
Particularly if they had the same support back home he got from his wife, Kate, and daughter, Daphne.
"I couldn't have done it without knowing they were good at home," he said.
So when people see his Bronze Star, this particular young man won't ever really accept the fact that the medal, alone, makes him a hero.
"I try to be as humble as I can about it, because I don't see myself that way," Snyder said. "I just see myself as another guy who was recognized for his deployment, wondering when he's going to go on his next one."
And when, years from now, his children and grandchildren ask just what he did to earn such an exclusive decoration, his answer, he said, won't change.
"I'll probably put it like, "I was just another guy doing my job,'" he said. "I don't know what else to say about it."