With fall semester finals safely out of the way, Matthew Bromley expected to have a low-key winter break.
That all changed on Monday, when Bromley, a student majoring in natural resources and environmental science, was awarded a Bronze Star at a ceremony at the Veterans Affairs Center in Reno.
Bromley, a former sergeant and intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army’s Special Forces from October 2002 until 2007, was honored for his service in the Iraq War for “exceptional and meritorious service during combat operations in Iraq.” According to the medal’s citation, Bromley was responsible for developing information that led to the prosecution of at least 45 enemy personnel, according to a report that appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal.
The citation further read that Bromley’s “dedication to mission success and technical prowess with sophisticated signals intelligence ensured more than 10 high-value targets are now in coalition forces custody.”
“I used collected intelligence to target individual terrorists,” Bromley said, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. “There are plenty of other people who sacrificed a lot more than I have. I don’t feel I’m anymore exceptional than other service member.”
Among the ceremony’s attendees were Nevada U.S. Rep. Dean Heller, and Bromley’s mother, Holly. Also, several local veterans from the Vietnam War through the nation’s present conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan saw their comrade-in-arms receive the Bronze Star, a 64-year-old medal that traces its roots to World War II. The late Gen. George Catlett Marshall said the Bronze Star not only recognizes heroic or meritorious achievement but is a reflection of the “extreme discomfort” and the great risk involved in personal combat often faced by ground troops during times of war.
“He served honorably, served faithfully and served the best he could,” Holly said, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. “That’s what makes me so proud. He’s like so many of the young men serving in the military.”
Bromley, in addition to his studies at the University, is a member of the Nevada National Guard.