Mokane man nominated for Bronze Star

Soldier honored for combat heroism

A fire rages in the aftermath of an April 15 Taliban attack a Missouri National Guard base near Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Eight Central Missouri members of the unit have received medals for repelling the attack. Master Sgt. Kevin L Craig of Mokane, who was wounded, has been recommended to receive the Bronze Star for bravery during the attack.

A fire rages in the aftermath of an April 15 Taliban attack a Missouri National Guard base near Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Eight Central Missouri members of the unit have received medals for repelling the attack. Master Sgt. Kevin L Craig of Mokane, who was wounded, has been recommended to receive the Bronze Star for bravery during the attack. Contributed photo

Master Sgt. Kevin L. Craig of Mokane has been recommended for the Bronze Star with Valor Medal from the U.S. Army after his unit was attacked in Afghanistan.

Craig and seven other Central Missourians were serving on active duty in the Army with the Missouri National Guard Agribusiness Development Team on April 15 when their unit was attacked by enemy Taliban troops.

Craig and Senior Airman Brandon Bumbales of St. Louis have both been nominated for the Bronze Star with Valor for their heroism in repelling the Taliban during the attack.

“I’m so proud of my son. When they were attacked, he rushed to open an area where weapons are stored. Then the building caught fire and the roof caved in,” said his mother, Trellis Blansett of Fulton.

The attack started after a Taliban suicide bomber drove a vehicle into a wall of the compound. The explosion opened a hole in the compound wall and enemy Taliban fighters attempted to rush inside the compound.

But Craig and other Missouri National Guardsmen grabbed their weapons and fought off the enemy along with help from Afghan Army forces who were at the compound. The attack came about a month after the Missouri Agribusiness Development Team arrived in Afghanistan.

During the attack, one Afghan soldier was killed and 15 Missouri National Guardsmen, including Craig, were wounded.

“Fortunately, my husband’s wounds were not life threatening,” said his wife Lori Craig of Mokane. “He suffered a concussion and back injuries.”

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