Posted at: 10/22/2013 5:46 PM
Updated at: 10/22/2013 6:26 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
A Northland marine has earned one of the nation's highest military honors. Master Sergeant Ryan Glau was recently awarded the Bronze Star medal.
Master Sgt. Glau is now based at Camp Pendleton in California, but he is a graduate of South Shore High School in Port Wing, Wis.
Eyewitness News first met Master Sgt. Glau as a young marine back in 2002, returning home from his first deployment.
"They told us to keep cool, to stay calm, and at the same time to start getting into the mindset that we are going into Afghanistan," said Master Sgt. Glau in 2002.
Just four hours after the 9/11 terror attacks, he was on a ship headed for Afghanistan.
"We were the first conventional ground force in Afghanistan," he said in 2002.
Then, four years later Eyewitness News caught up with Master Sgt. Glau again, after he returned from his fourth deployment.
"Your heart starts pounding pretty hard, you know you're going to go in a situation where you might get killed," he said in 2006.
Now, 11 years after first meeting Master Sgt. Glau and eight deployments later, he has earned one of the nation's highest military honors, the Bronze Star medal. The Bronze Star is the nation's fourth highest individual military honor.
Master Sgt. Glau was awarded the Bronze Star medal with a Combat "V" distinguishing device last month.
The honor was awarded for heroic service in combat operations against the enemy while serving as an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team Leader in Afghanistan from October 2012 to April 2013.
During that time, Master Sgt. Glau disarmed 49 Improvised Explosive Devices and trained 610 Georgian soldiers in the proper procedures to effectively operate in hostile environments.
Master Sgt. Glau has a long list of heroic actions to his credit, but he says the honor is a team effort and attributes his fellow U.S. Marines and soldiers from the Republic of Georgia.
He now lives in San Diego with his wife. When he's not deployed, he works with the Secret Service and trains TSA agents.