Air Force commended Reality Winner for taking out enemy combatants


Before she became the first person prosecuted by the Trump administration for leaking documents, Reality Leigh Winner received a military commendation for assisting in overseas airstrikes that killed hundreds of enemy combatants.

Winner, an Air Force senior airman, was a linguist proficient in Farsi, Dari and Pashto, languages spoken in Iran and Afghanistan. She served with the 94th Intelligence Squadron, 707th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, at Fort Meade, Md.

Though her parents say Winner never deployed outside the U.S., her work was considered valuable enough that in October, she earned an Air Force Commendation Medal, a mid-level military decoration given for meritorious service or acts of courage that don’t involve risk of life. It’s often given as end-of-tour recognition.

“The distinctive accomplishments of Airman Winner while serving her country reflect credit upon herself and the United States Air Force,” the award says.

Winner’s mother, Billie Winner-Davis, provided a photo of the award to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday. It sheds more light on the 25-year-old federal contractor at the center of a leak case that involves documents detailing Russian meddling in last year’s election.

Though Winner’s social media posts reveal a seething disdain for President Trump, she apparently served her country with distinction during the previous administration.

“Airman Winner provided over 1,900 hours of enemy intelligence exploitation and assisted in geolocating 120 enemy combatants during 734 airborne sorties (air missions),” the award says. “She facilitated 816 intelligence missions, 3,236 time sensitive reports, and removing more than 100 enemies from the battlefield.

“Furthermore,” the commendation continues, “while deployed to support Combatant Commander’s requirements, Airman Winner was appointed as the lead deployment language analyst, producing 2,500 reports, aiding in 650 enemy captures, 600 enemies killed in action and identifying 900 high value targets.”



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