On a mission in Afghanistan, then-Specialist Jack Bodani was in an up-armored humvee column when a massive explosion ripped through his vehicle, engulfing it in a fireball. Simultaneously, automatic weapons fire and well-aimed mortar rounds began hitting dangerously close to the convoy. Bodani, burned on the face and neck from the conflagration, got out of the vehicle and immediately helped another trapped soldier escape.

Safely evacuating the first soldier away from the vehicle, Bodani realized there was another unaccounted for, so he disregarded his own wounds and again ran back to the burning vehicle. At the humvee, the heat of the fire reached a critical temperature and ordinance and rifle ammunition began exploding in every direction. From the east, insurgent attacker became increasingly accurate with their weapons fire. Ignoring all of this, Bodani, and with the aid of another, extracted the dazed soldier.

Still in the height of the ambush and far from safety, Bodani reached for a rifle at the casualty collection point and provided vital security from the brazen enemy fighters. Because of Bodani’s brave acts, the wounded soldiers survived to receive a medevac and receive the urgent care they needed.

Then-Specialist Jack Bodani was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor for his courageous actions.