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NEWS | Sept. 12, 2008

341st sergeant receives AF Combat Action Medal

By Meredith Canales 37th Training Wing Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. Dominic Burt is one of the most recent recipients of the Air Force Combat Action Medal. While deployed to Camp Bucca in Iraq, Sergeant Burt was in a vehicle that was struck by an improvised explosive device.

The medal, which was first awarded last year, was designed to recognize Air Force members who were engaged in air or ground combat "outside the wire" in a combat zone. It is also awarded to members who were under direct and hostile fire or who personally engaged hostile forces with direct and lethal fire.

"We were riding along, actually on our way to check out another IED, when we hit this IED," said Sergeant Burt, a dog handler in the 341st Training Squadron. "Dino, my dog, was pretty spooked, but I managed to calm him down."

Sergeant Burt said material from the IED almost hit him.

"It went right behind my head. If we had stayed on the same course, it would have hit me directly in the head," he said. Incredibly modest, Sergeant Burt insists he doesn't deserve an award.

"I didn't really do anything," he said. "I just, almost got hit. All I did was calm down my dog."

The medal was awarded to Sergeant Burt in a ceremony Sept. 4. According to his superiors, he's doing an excellent job with dog handling school at Lackland.

"He's really been fitting in nicely here," said 341st TRS Commander Major Kathy Jordan. "He's a valued member of our team, and we're really glad to have him."