Three Beaufort Marines Honored with Bronze Star - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Three Beaufort Marines Honored with Bronze Star

In two separate ceremonies, three Lt. Colonels at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort were presented with the Bronze Star. In two separate ceremonies, three Lt. Colonels at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort were presented with the Bronze Star.

BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) - Being awarded the Bronze Star is a very significant honor. Today, three Low Country Marines received the Bronze Star for their actions in Iraq.

In two separate ceremonies, three Lt. Colonels at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort including Lt. Col. James Quinn, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Avais and Lt. Col. John Bolt were presented with the very prestigious honor for their contributions during Operation Iraqi Freedom. A medal they each humbly accepted.

"It's a result of being around great Marines, working hard," said Lt. Col. Quinn. "I'm just reaping the awards from hard work from other folks but it means a lot to me."

"It's a little humbling," said Lt. Col. Aivas. "I was not expecting it, definitely a product of working with a good team."

As the executive officer of Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 2-24, Lt. Col. Bolt is also very proud of this honor, but he says he's most proud of his accomplishments while in Iraq.

During his deployment, Lt.. Col. Bolt spearheaded numerous initiatives to grow the Iraqi Army and was directly responsible for nearly doubling the division's recruiting efforts.

"We really made a difference. We left the Iraqi army better than we got there," said Lt. Col John Bolt. "The fact that by the time we left we turned them over to the Iraqi army's control, that they wee able to conduct operations with minimal US assistance, and they're actually making a positive impact on reducing the terrorism."

Lt. Col Bolt says this Bronze Star will always serve as a special reminder of his time in Iraq. "When I look at this award, it's going to remind me of the great memories I have, good friendships I made both with Marines and Iraqi officers," he said.

During these special ceremonies, 1st Lt. Dustin Neider was also presented with a special honor, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. 

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com 

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