Jake Breitenbach - 5 Bronze Stars

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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:17 am
Your Gulf War Unit: Brother of Desert Storm Veteran

Jake Breitenbach - 5 Bronze Stars

Post by Ibreitenbach » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:45 am

My brother, who passed away in 2002, was awarded 5 bronze stars for his infantry service in the Army during the Gulf War. I was wondering if anyone recognizes the name Jake Breitenbach. He took most of his experiences to the grave with him and I have always been curious how he got 5 bronze stars. He described being in a team that had to clear enemy bunkers and he was the last one in the team to go in and finish any enemy survivors. He did go AWOL after the war was over and my father drove him to Fort Ord, CA to reconcile with the Army. To my fathers surprise he was discharged (not dishonorably, but not honorable either) in 2 weeks and on his dd214 my father (Vietnam Vet) could not believe he had earned 5 bronze stars. Jake said "He didn't want to talk about it" and with tears in his eyes told my father he would never tell him what he had done to get those 5 bronze stars. Please if anyone can tell me anything to point me in the direction to find out more information I would be greatly appreciative. I miss him dearly :(
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:13 am
Your Gulf War Unit: 1st ID, 3rd AD, 181st Chem Co, 84th Chem, 46th Chem.

Re: Jake Breitenbach - 5 Bronze Stars

Post by wdroberson » Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:17 pm

One can only speculate however I feel the need to let you know that on the DD-214, where it list's awards earned, if your reference to Southwest Asia Service Medal w/3 bronze stars is part of the 5 then that is not a bronze star in the same capacity as what you may be thinking.

Those just represent that the soldier was part of the entire operation and is listed on all SWA Service Medals that I am aware of. There may have been some awarded without all of the stars but I doubt it.

• Operation Desert Shield, August 2, 1990 – January 16, 1991
• Operation Desert Storm, January 17, 1991 – April 11, 1991
• Southwest Asia Cease-fire Campaign, April 12, 1991- November

Also the National Defense Service Medal was once again authorized a bronze star device for 1991. That would make 4 total.

There was a standing order in our major command that no one under the rank of E-7 was to receive a medal higher than an ARCOM and that only E-7's and above could receive the actual Bronze Star. Our Supply Sergeant received the Bronze Star.... He played allot of cards to earn that too. There has been a great deal of controversy in the Air Force and other branches of the service as to the awarding of the medal to those not in combat. The major difference is that one awarded for valor or heroics were afforded the 'V' Device which signified Valor. Usually if one did something that earned an award for 'FOR GALLANTRY IN ACTION' then they were awarded the Silver Star and not the Bronze Star.

There are also other ribbons that are authorized the bronze star vs the oak leaf cluster however I will leave the 5th to your desires.

Good luck on finding information on your brother and your quest for more knowledge of his service.

ref; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest_ ... vice_Medal
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_D ... vice_Medal

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