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Guardsman rescues children from bus

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)

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. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Regina Young/released)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Senior Airman Joey DeFore helped rescue six children from an overturned school bus after it slid into a ditch and rolled onto its side Thursday, in Warner Robins.

"It was chaotic," said DeFore, a 116th Air Control Wing member. "The children were screaming and crying as they hung from their seats."

Defore, who has two children of his own, said, "I just stopped [at the scene] ... my first thought was about the kids." DeFore credits his military training as the reason he was able to remain calm while he unbuckled the children from their seats.

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 Chief Master Sgt. Emory, 128th Airborne Command and Control Squadron superintendent. "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 Air Control Wing.

Last names may have been removed due to operational security.