A former Air Force explosive ordnance disposal technician was awarded the Silver Star medal, for heroism he displayed while on active duty in May 2014. Retired Master Sgt. Kristopher Parker was part of a team taking part in enemy suppression operations in Afghanistan’s Mazghary Mountains, when they became engaged in a firefight with enemy fighters. Parker, then a technical sergeant, took it upon himself to move through the enemy small-arms fire toward the enemy position in a cave, clearing unexploded devices and directing fellow troops to cover. By the time the fight ended 20 hours later, 18 of the enemy were dead and 200 pounds of explosives were destroyed. “Kris saved the lives of so many soldiers, Marines and airmen. He put their lives first and took care of them,” said Gen. Robin Rand, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, during the March 17 award ceremony at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.