934th AW chaplain awarded Bronze Star

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Trevor Saylor, 934th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL AIR RESERVE STATION, Minn. — One of the 934th Airlift Wing’s chaplains, Maj. Len Brokenshire, was awarded the Bronze Star for his accomplishments during a deployment to the Middle East in late 2019. 

During his deployment, Brokenshire was responsible for leading tactical pause events across 10 separate bases, as his time coincided with a suicide rate increase across the Air Force, and providing support to 585 troops as the sole chaplain. He also had the opportunity to preside over human remain transfers in Kuwait during their transfer to Dover Air Force Base, Del. 

Brokenshire said that he was able to deal with the emotional weight of his work by taking time for himself, and being present with the emotions of his work but being able to leave it behind after duty hours. Having worked as a pastor for years, he is accustomed to having to compartmentalize emotions to some degree. He was also able to focus on providing support to the Airmen in theater.

“Helping people gives you purpose,” Brokenshire said. “I always tell people that if you’re struggling, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to help others. Helping other people is a great way to cope.” 

The Bronze Star is awarded for meritorious service in a combat environment, and can also be awarded for valor, though not often. Per the Military Times, the U.S. Air Force has awarded 13,354 Bronze Stars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 839 of those were awarded with valor for combat heroism. 

Brokenshire admits to not like too much attention, and considers himself very private. He has been a little shy talking about the award; he doesn’t like to talk about himself. For Brokenshire, the best part was getting to share the experience with his four kids. 

“It was great to share that with my kids. For them to see that their dad was away for so long, and was recognized for the work he did helping others, that was a big deal for me,” Brokenshire said.