Tuesday, July 23, 2013

TOP STORY >> Airman accepts top award

Master Sgt. William G. Janczewski II was recently honored in Washington as the Air Force Service Member of the year by the Military Times newspaper, along with four other service members, one from each branch of service.

In October, he led the team of six firefighters that extinguished a blaze near 40,000 gallons of fuel and two Army helicoptors that were refueling during a mortar attack at Camp John Pratt, Afghanistan, the Air Force times reported.

The sergeant was also recognized for his volunteer work with the Arkansas Congestive Heart Defect Coalition to help others who are in the same situation now that his family was in years ago. His 6-year-old son, Ethan, was born with hypoplastic left-heart syndrome.

Ethan has only a right ventricle and right atrium. The heart defect left the newborn in the hospital for nearly five months — about four of those in an induced coma. He is now in stable health.

“It’s very, very humbling,” Janczewski said of his being named the Airman of the Year. “I see what happened as just doing my job. The volunteer work was just a way to pay back all my experiences, so other families or other people don’t have to go through the same problems we went through. Being here tonight, it’s just very humbling to be recognized for something on this scale.”

Janczewski is approaching 20 years of service as an Air Force firefighter. He serves with the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Emergency Services at Little Rock Air Force Base.

The sergeant said he plans to stay in uniform as long as he is allowed.
“I love the job and I love the mission,” Janczewski said.