LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A retired Kentucky National Guardsman will receive one of the military's highest combat honors on Thursday. 

Retired Master Sergeant Keary Miller will be awarded the Air Force Cross during a special ceremony in Hurlburt Field in Florida presided over by Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. David Goldfein.

'I don't think you can forget something that dramatic," Miller said. "But I think you can capitalize it into positive motivation."

Miller is being honored for his extraordinary heroism during combat operations in Afghanistan in March 2002. He came under fire during a 17-hour siege on a remote Afghan mountain called Takur Ghar.  The Kentucky National Guard says he repeated risked is own life under enemy fire to help save the lives of ten U.S. service members and recovering seven who were killed in action. He also delivered ammunition to Army Rangers to fight the Taliban.

"We don't go out there picking missions to get medals," Miller told WDRB before the ceremony on Thursday. "We go out there to do what the Air Force recruited and trained us to do. Its not necessarily the medal its the oath that we take and enlistment we do to serve our country."

Miller, a former pararescueman in the Kentucky Air Guard's 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, was initially awarded the Silver Star for his heroism in combat. The honor was officially upgraded to the Air Force Cross in January. 

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