Fallen soldier receives Bronze Star with ValorThe Army Bronze Star with “V” attachment for Valor medal was presented to the family of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jeremy D. Vrooman on April 14 in Green Bay, Wis.
The Army Bronze Star with “V” attachment for Valor medal was presented to the family of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jeremy D. Vrooman on April 14 in Green Bay, Wis.
The staff sergeant was killed in action July 15, 2008, in Kn’an, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Wisconsin Army National Guard Lt. Col. Margaret Frittitta presented the medal to Bruce and Susan Vrooman of Superior, Jeremy’s father and stepmother, and stepbrother Brad Steckelberg, of Sioux Falls, S.D.
Many Wisconsin Gold Star families — families of fallen service members — shared in the presentation during the special weekend to reach out to them.
Former Sen. Herb Kohl and staff helped the Vroomans with the medal application and award.
Eyewitness statements from soldiers were obtained, bringing the facts of Staff Sgt. Vrooman’s sacrifice to light. Through his quick thinking and training, Vrooman saved the lives of all 59 men directly involved in the mission named Operation Cougar Storm.
The award states “For valorous achievement on July 15, 2008, while serving as the Senior Troop Dismount with 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Staff Sergeant Vrooman’s quick thinking and tactical abilities helped members of Palehorse Troop to survive a lethal explosion.”
The award notes Vrooman entered an abandoned building first to secure the area before the rest of his team entered. His knowledge of improvised explosive devices allowed him to identify the location of one hidden inside.
“Without hesitation, SSG Vrooman signaled for his men to exit the area while covering his team. SSG Vrooman’s sacrifice saved the lives of his team from the blast. SSG Vrooman’s actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 2d Stryker Cavalry Regiment and the United States Army,” the award states.