A prior supply airman, Valentin said he retrained into the tactical air control career field because he felt he would have a more direct impact on the mission; special operations being his favorite part.
"I decided to cross train in 1998 and have never looked back," said Valentin. "I like working in small teams in combat operations and having a direct impact on the mission."
"He's the hardest working airman, very innovative and is a wealth of knowledge. I'm extremely impressed with how fast he his recovering from his injuries," said Capt. Brian Bragg, the 17th ASOS and Operating Location Bravo commander.
Valentin, along with Airmen from the 17th ASOS, support the 75th Ranger Regiment, 1st and 3rd Battalion, the 3rd and 7th Special Forces Group, the 5th Special Forces Group and Army Special Operations Command.
The Purple Heart was awarded to Valetin by Brig. Gen. Blair E. Hansen, the 9th Air Force vice commander. The medal is awarded in the name of the president of the United States to any member of an armed forces or any civilian national of the United States who, while serving under competent authority in any capacity with one of the armed services after April 5, 1917, has been wounded or killed, or who has died or may hereafter die after being wounded.