Trooper awarded Bronze Star

The NY State Troopers PBA congratulates Trooper James Meltz on being awarded a Bronze Star as a New York Army National Guardsman. Meltz was awarded the medal for actions during his service in Afghanistan.

Below is an article that appeared in the Times Union newspaper about the award.

By DENNIS YUSKO, Staff writer
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First published: Wednesday, November 12, 2008

COLONIE — A state trooper from Cropseyville who helped repel an enemy attack in Afghanistan has been awarded a Bronze Star for his actions at Camp Phoenix in Kabul.

First Sgt. James Meltz, a New York Army National Guardsman, was recognized Tuesday during a Veterans Day ceremony when he was awarded the medal for combat valor the night of May 25-26 in Afghanistan.

Meltz’s unit, Company D of the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry, was traveling in a long convoy from Kabul to Kandahar when it was ambushed by enemy fighters. Meltz, 38, and the company commander, Capt. Joseph Merrill of Binghamton, provided leadership and "direct actions that led to the repulsion of enemy forces without injury or death to U.S. forces," the Army said Tuesday.

"The enemy showed up and stuck around," Meltz is quoted as saying of the three-hour battle. "They wanted to play."

Meltz works out of the State Police Sand Lake barracks. He is the top-ranking noncommissioned officer in the company. He served in Iraq during a previous deployment.

Merrill also received a Bronze Star.

Meltz and Merrill are approaching the final months of a 10-month tour in Afghanistan with the National Guard’s 27th Brigade Combat Team. The brigade is providing command structure for Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix, an 8,700-member international force that is training the Afghan army and police.