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Marine Master Gunnery Sgt. Robert Busto, left, received a Bronze Star at Camp Pendleton on Friday for bravery while working the Afghan National Army. The award was presented by Lt. Col. Kevin Stewart. (Courtesy photo)

(Reprint from, September 4, 2009)

Marine gets Bronze Star for valor in Afghanistan
Master Gunnery Sgt. Robert Busto cited for bravery in multiple combat actions

A Marine Corps gunnery sergeant who worked closely with Afghan National Army troops in 2007 and 2008 received a Bronze Star for valor in a ceremony at Camp Pendleton on Friday morning.

Master Gunnery Sgt. Robert A. Busto also was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps commendation medal with special recognition for valor.

Lt. Col. Kevin Stewart, commanding officer of the 1st Maintenance Battalion, presented the award, which recognizes Busto for taking part in more than 70 patrols with the Afghan Army. Thirteen patrols resulted in attacks by Taliban fighters with Busto cited for quickly returning fire and directing Afghan soldiers.

"During the deployment, he exposed himself to enemy fire on numerous occasions as a gunner, mentor and vehicle commander in his effort to destroy the enemy forces that ambushed his convoys," Camp Pendleton said in a statement.

"Busto also personally conducted over 60 helicopter re-supply missions where over 100,000 pounds of supplies were moved to four austere combat outposts in the Korengal Valley and Waygul valleys."

Busto is member of Camp Pendleton's 1st Marine Logistics Group.