"You never really go to war thinking of being able to earn anything as prestigious as that," says Lt. Col. Rodney Neely.
The two airmen, Captain Christopher Tusing in Kabul and Lt. Col. Neely in Bogram, were awarded the medal within a couple months of each other after each finished deployments in Afghanistan. Among many things, Neely was in charge of perimeter security for the base.
"The only thing we really had to worry about was rocket attacks which, we had 22 while I was there," Neely says. "But also I had personnel on patrols outside the base everyday."
Tusing worked with Afghan soldiers to prepare them for the U.S. departure.
"We're all subject to go back at any given time with our hands in the air so that's what we do," he says.
The Bronze Star Medal is one of the highest combat decorations, and their commander says he's glad these men represent the 167th Airlift Wing.