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The eight men helped fight off an attack in Afghanistan that lasted for about an hour and involved thousand of rounds of mortar and small arm fire in 2002.

"So that is the real story of what happened," Shipley said. "In my perception, at least, the Guard gets treated differently than active duty and this was well deserving."

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the ground before it was hit. We took fire and gave fire."

It was a victory for Guardsmen to be given the same recognition as active duty soldiers, said medal winner retired Chief Master Sgt. Todd Shipley of Reno. He credited Senior Master Sgt. Michael Del Soldato of Sparks, for leading the fight against bureaucracy.

Ironically, Del Soldato was the only medal winner not there. He's currently deployed overseas.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D Nv, was at the medal pinning ceremony. When his office stepped into help with the Guardsmen's battle, the medals were soon after awarded, a medal winner said.

Cody Del Soldato, son of Michael Del Soldato, received his father's medal and was grateful for the help from Reid's office. Reid gave credit to his state director, Mary Connelly.

Air National Guard auditorium that the Guardsmen took "thousands of rounds for the mountains into the base," later adding:

Retired Master Sgt. John Blevins of Reno still has vivid memories from that battle on Feb. 22, 2002.

"Early morning, my team was up working air flight operations and we started receiving tracer fire from the mountains and it turned into a fire fight, after we saw the headlights coming toward the aircraft that was on the ramp," Blevins said. "We returned mortar fire, some small arms fire. It was kind of a fire fight around an aircraft that we were trying to get off Converse Black And White Shoes

gentlemen, they are the heroes that make it safe for my Converse High Cut Black For Girls children and grandchildren and America in general. These battles don't come very often but when they come, they have to be prepared and these heroes have honored Nevada and our country."

"The real story is what happened post that (2002 fire fight)," Shipley said. "The award of the Air Force Combat Action medal didn't come easily, for a Guard unit. We had applied for it. We had put in for it. And because of the perseverance by someone who is not here because he is deployed (Del Soldato), this happened.

The key to victory that day and getting the aircraft safely off the ground was the Guardmen's training, Blevins said.

"Once things didn't flow well and the Air Force made certain denials even though other units have gotten the same award for the same kind of things, he (Del Soldato) persevered. He was the one that got a hold of Sen. Reid's office and engaged them. And after six years of fighting with the Air Force, we had to go all the way to the Secretary of the Air Force to get approval for the award.

Here is a list of the eight Nevada Air National Guardsmen who were awarded the Combat Action Medals Friday in Reno:

"The next day, talking to Sgt. Shipley, (I said) well, that was kinda fun but it was also pretty hairy," Blevins said.

"Your training kicks in and you start doing your job," Blevins said. "There's wasn't a lot of drama, like most people think there is. You just survive and do your job."

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The firefight lasted about an hour and included "thousands and thousands of rounds," Reid said in his short speech.

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Harry Reid helps secure Combat Action Medals for 8 Nevada Air Guardsmen

"It might have happened but it would have taken a lot longer (without Reid's help)," Cody Del Soldato said.

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Eight Nevada Air National Guard members were awarded Combat Action Medals Friday in Reno.

The battle started to sink in the day after, Blevins said.

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The heroic medal winners

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Reid told the large crowd gathered at the Nevada Converse Shoes Mens Black

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