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Vandenberg videographer receives bronze star

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Vandenberg videographer was awarded the bronze star for exceptional meritorious service during her deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Although the bronze star is one of the most honorable decorations in the Department of Defense, Staff Sergeant Jessica Kuge, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs videographer, thinks of her deployment as another day in the office.

"In a way, I just looked at it like I'm just doing my job," said Sergeant Kuge. "I was just put into a crazy situation."

Actually, Sergeant Kuge was put into many crazy situations during her 6-month deployment.

She demonstrated outstanding professional skill and knowledge amist numerous enemy engagements, documenting 40 combat and humanitarian missions.

This includes house raids, weapons cache searches and combat convoy patrols supporting the Army's 25th Infantry Division, stated the narrative that accompanied the award of the bronze star.

Even though Sergeant Kuge's life was in danger, she still appreciated her unique experience.

"I love the fact that as a deployed videographer, I get to see things most people don't get to see," said Sergeant Kuge. "I spent a lot of time outside the fence and saw things on the front lines."

Things Sergeant Kuge saw outside the walls of Baqubah, Iraq aided the mission in unique ways.

According to the narrative, while taking direct fire from the enemies in one of the patrols she calmly and professionally continued to document an insurgent ambush which ultimately aided battle damage assessment and in identifying 22 Iraqi policemen who were killed in action.

"I had to do casualty identification and the camera is the only thing that got me through some hard times."

After returning to Vandenberg in February, Sergeant Kuge still felt the anxiety of war.

"It's hard to get used to not having to just go-go-go," she said. "The adrenaline rush continued up until a month after I got home."

Back at Vandenberg, Sergeant Kuge earns the adoration of her peers by helping production work to include aiding in launch mission success, said Tech Sgt. Susan Williams, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs NCO of broadcasting.

"Sergeant Kuge is a very hard and diligent worker," Sergeant Williams said.

Sergeant Kuge will be leaving Vandenberg to further her career at the 1st Combat Camera Squadron at Charleston AFB, S.C.