Senior Airman Joey DeFore, with the 116th Air Control Wing, poses for an official photo at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., Aug. 20, 2013. DeFore along with two bystanders rescued six children from an overturned bus in Warner Robins, Ga., Aug. 15, 2013. The accident is currently under investigation.(U.S. National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Regina Young/released)
A Houston County school bus sits overturned in the early morning hours of Aug. 15, 2013 on Dunbar Road in Warner Robins, Ga. Six students, the bus driver and a bus monitor were onboard when the bus slid into the ditch and rolled on its side. The accident is currently under investigation. (contributed photo/released)
by Tech. Sgt. Regina Young
1116 Air Control Wing Public Affairs
8/20/2013 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- An Airmen from the Air National Guard's 116th Air Control Wing here helped rescue six children from an overturned school bus after it slid into a ditch Thursday in Warner Robins.
Senior Airman Joey DeFore credited his military training as the reason he was able to remain calm while he unbuckled children from their seats.
"It was chaotic," said DeFore. "The children were screaming and crying as they hung from their seats."
DeFore was on his way to work when he saw the accident take place.
"I just stopped [at the scene] ... my first thought was about the kids," said Defore, who has two children of his own.
After he led the children to an emergency exit, two bystanders retrieved the children from the bus and moved them to safety.
"Airman Defore displayed the essence of a citizen Airman." said a senior enlisted leader at the 128th Airborne Command and Control Squadron here. "We are Airmen dedicated to defending our nation with a deep-rooted responsibility to protect our citizens because they are dear to us."
Defore is a Georgia native and a graduate of Northside High School in Warner Robins. He was recently selected for a civil service position within the 116th ACW.
8/25/2013 2:54:25 PM ET One more reason to be thankful for those that serve in the military. Not only do they keep us safe overseas with their service and dedication but also on the home front. Thank you Airman Defore for rescuing those precious children and helping one of my little neighbors. God Bless you and all who assisted you in this situation.