BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - An Air Force medic from Buffalo is receiving high honors, and her family couldn't be more proud.
Air Force Captain Jennifer Curtis has been singled out for going above and beyond the call of duty in Afghanistan. Curtis is a native of Cherry Creek and Buffalo's Riverside neighborhood who has been awarded a Bronze Star, a Combat Medic Award, and a Prestigious Portrait in Courage Award.
She had been in the military for almost 15 years before being deployed to Afghanistan. As she arrived, her chopper came under fire, and over the next eight months she went on dozens of dangerous missions as a medic.
News 4 spokes with Curtis via Skype on Thursday from Hill Air Force Base in Utah.
"The scariest moment was one evening after hours, people were kind of socializing in our area. But that night they struck the middle of our compound, so when that happened there were people standing about 20 feet from the impact, so the blast alone knocked people to the ground and concussions, head injuries. And we just started pulling people out into our Med-Shed and providing medical care to these guys who had become my family and my brothers," Curtis recounted.
Her mother, Susan Jaworski, said, "She would call and say, 'You won't hear from me for a few days.' It was awful; it was the worst year of my life."
Curtis not only survived it, but made a difference. Video shows her giving blankets to women in Afghanistan and teaching them basic health care.
"By interacting with these women, it opens up a whole new arena for us," Curtis said. "You get information, you gain trust, they talk to their husbands and brothers and their sons, so you're opening up a lot more doors by doing that."
Jaworski said, "She went above and beyond. She's very humble about the award. She thinks that the people that she worked with deserve the award more than she does."
Eighty-two-year-old Edward Spencer was making a left hand turn while exiting the Budwey's parking lot when he struck 52-year-old Sandra Garner and 55-year-old Kevin Nowak, according to authorities.
An angry mother who claims her daughter was dropped-off miles away from home wants answers.
Deputies say a teen driver fell asleep at the wheel early Thursday morning before crashing head-on with another vehicle.
Police say a Jamestown man was selling crack cocaine out of his barber shop on East Second Street.
City Hall is considering turning to taxpayers to help keep the lights on at the only movie theatre in downtown Buffalo.
Experts are being brought into Niagara Falls to deal with a rat problem that Mayor Paul Dyster calls "extraordinary," and neighbors say they have had enough.