Michael Clevenger Louisville Courier Journal Published 6:12 PM EDT Sep 13, 2019 A member of the Kentucky Air National Guard received the Air Force’s second-highest medal for combat valor during a ceremony Friday in Louisville. Staff Sgt. Daniel P. Keller, a special operations airman, directly contributed to the survival of 130 members of his assault force, including 31 wounded, during a 2017 battle in Afghanistan, according to the Kentucky Air National Guard. He received the Air Force Cross — second only to the Medal of Honor — for his “extraordinary heroism.” It was presented by Gen. David L. Goldfein, the Air Force’s chief of staff, before a crowd of about 400 people, including Gov. Matt Bevin. Keller, a combat controller in the 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, earned the award Aug. 16, 2017, while on a mission in Nangarhar Province, which is in eastern Afghanistan, according to his citation. When his assault force struck a roadside bomb, killing four people, Keller was injured but struggled to his feet, it said. He “executed air-to-ground engagements while returning fire” against Islamic State fighters who were less than 150 meters away. Read this: Kentucky WWII soldier’s remains identified in Germany Keller then helped move 13 comrades who were critically wounded… Read full this story
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