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Special Agents Brocklyn Bahe, Christian Galeski, Matthew Nagle, Joseph Montoya, and Rodney Draper (Federal Bureau of Investigation, Alabama)

Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor

Special Agents Bahe, Galeski, Nagle, Montoya, and Draper are all recognized for their courageous rescue of an abducted 5-year-old child. The child was taken from a school bus on January 29, 2013, by a man who had shot and killed the bus driver after he refused to hand over two children as hostages. He held the child for six days in an underground bunker with multiple weapons and improvised explosive devices, making unreasonable and incoherent demands.

The agents determined that negotiations would fail, so at grave personal risk to themselves, they conducted a rescue mission on February 4th. When they entered the bunker, the abductor shot at them from less than five feet away using the child as a shield. He also detonated an IED during the initial assault and was believed to be attempting to detonate a second device.

Without regard for their own safety, several more rescue team operators entered the bunker under heavy gunfire. One of them, Special Agent Bahe, dropped into the darkened, smoke-filled hole, falling 10 feet to the floor. The impact of the landing dislodged his weapon, but he lunged unarmed into the darkness, found the boy, and shielded him with his body while Special Agents Galeski, Nagle, Montoya, and Draper fought with the suspect just inches away.

The exceptional courage and extraordinary decisiveness of the entry team ultimately prevailed, resulting in the death of the suspect and the rescue of the boy, who was unharmed. Accepting on behalf of Special Agent Bahe, who is deployed, is his wife, Jacqueline.

Date Published: September 8, 2020