COLUMBIA (WACH) -- An Air Force explosive ordinance disposal technician from Shaw Air Force Base has been awarded a Bronze Star with Valor and a Purple Heart.
According to Shaw officials, on January 19 Senior Airman Joshua Labott was on a patrol responding to reports of an improvised explosive device (IED) at a school in Afghanistan. On their way an IED buried near a wall exploded and Labott was thrown into a canal.
"At first, I thought we were mortared," said Airman Labott in a release, "but after the dust settled, I realized what happened. Everything went blank, and the only thing I could think of was working on the lieutenant. It was probably the most focused I've ever been."
Air Force officials say Labott then began performing first aid on his Lieutenant, who is currently recovering at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington. An Army captain and an Air Force team chief were killed in the attack.
Labott plans to stay in the Air Force and continue his work as an explosive ordinance disposal technician.