WEST MIDDLESEX, Pa. (WKBN) – Blake Destasio is one of four airmen honored with the Air Force Commendation Medal for preventing a plane from exploding last December.
The men in uniform, including the West Middlesex native, are receiving their special award at an undisclosed location in southwest Asia.
“As soon as I sat down beside one of our lights, I heard a loud screeching noise,” Destasio said. “I thought that kind of sounded weird.”
Destasio’s mother, Susan Thomas, also remembers the event.
“A jet came into landing, and it was on fire,” she said.
“There’s two people stuck inside of a flaming capsule,” Destasio said. “So the main concern is to get them out, and try and help them as best as we can from getting out of the aircraft.”
They were able to put out the fire, but the plane started coasting away.
“When they hit the brakes, the fuel line exploded and flames burst again,” Thomas said.
Destasio quickly took action.
“My son jumped in front of the plane, put the chalks under the tire and got the plane stopped as it was 15 feet away from another jet that was getting ready to take off.”
“I’m not going to not risk my life to try and save two other people,” Destasio said. “I would rather go in there and try to help someone.”
He is currently still deployed overseas in the Air Force.