“We were initially briefed there would be 10 to 15 possible insurgents in the area…And what we found out after the fact -- once we got back -- after analyzing the intelligence, that there was over a hundred that had moved into the area during the fight.”

— Maryland Air National Guard Captain Barry Crawford, speaking to reporters at the Pentagon Wednesday. He and about 100 U.S. and Afghan special forces found themselves in a 14-hour firefight two years ago in the mountains east of Kabul. Crawford called in air strikes, medevac helicopters, and exposed himself to enemy fire. His radio antenna was shot off his back, just inches from his face, as he guided a rescue chopper in for wounded comrades. On Thursday, he’ll be presented with the Air Force Cross, the service’s second-highest decoration for valor.

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