To be awarded the Bronze Star, one does not need to be in combat. Silver Star and above? Sure. But not the Bronze Star.
The military used to hand it out like candy during the Vietnam War to officers.
According to the link below, this medal is: a personal decoration originally intended for valorous service. By the end of the 20th Century it was being given out for many non-combat acts, it even became known as the “officers’ good conduct medal”. The value of the award was deflated so much that a metal “V” device to be worn on the medal’s suspension ribbon was issued to indicate valor.
Today, in order to get a bronze star for combat, you have to do something worth a Silver Star. And to get a silver star, you need to do something worth a Navy Cross.
Today, the US only has 3 living Medal of Honor recipients after almost a decade of fighting in 2 wars.
Nothing but hills since 1775.