Kellyville graduate receives the highest honor in non-combat
The General awarding the honor said he had never given one out in his 32 years of service.
A Kellyville high school graduate received a prestigious honor for an act of bravery he displayed during a harrowing car crash earlier this year.
In January of 2018, Stephen Wolf and his daughter Alaina were on their way home to Wichita Falls, TX from Dallas on Highway 287. This trip would prove to be like no other. Wolf tells a Texhoma CBS affiliate, “I started coughing and coughing, and I was coughing so hard that I blacked out.”
He then crossed the center median traveling 75 miles per hour. Alaina was napping in the passenger seat and woke up, grabbed the wheel and tried to avoid oncoming traffic. She overcorrected, causing the car to leave the roadway. It flipped on its side and caught fire.
Thankfully, United States Air Force Major, and 2002 Kellyville graduate, who is an instructor pilot at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, was driving toward Dallas. Major Justin Warner says, “I was the first one to see it, the closest one there. I was able to go across the highway and get there.”
As Warner is pulling Alaina and Mr. Wolf out of the car it “starts to explode and catch fire,” said Wolf.
Alaina is grateful for Warner being there to help and make sure she and her father were safe.
Major Justin Warner was awarded the highest non-combat award, the Airman’s Medal, on Tuesday, November 28th at SAFB by Major General Craig La Fave. Warner was joined by his wife, parents and grandparents. Also in attendance were fellow airmen, Mr Wolf—also a retired airman—and Alaina.
Warner says, “I’m humbled and honored, it’s not something I ever thought about, I never even knew about the Airman’s Medal. I didn’t expect it, didn’t think I would ever be here getting this.”
Major General La Fave says, “32 years in the United States Air Force and I have never given and Airman’s Medal, and I’ve never seen one given, so it’s a very prestigious award.”
“I wouldn’t be here today without Justin Warner doing what he did back in January of 2018,” said Wolf as to why he contacted SAFB about Warner’s heroic act.
Warner’s parents, Bob and Jinger Waller were present and said the truth a, “it’s emotional to me. Like I said it was kind of downplayed at home with him and to kind of see all of this and exactly everything that did happen. It’s very humbling to know that your kid is that great.”
Major Warner has been in the reserves for the past 6 months after serving for 11 years. In those 11 years he went to Afghanistan twice, seeing combat both times. He is married to Amanda and they have two daughters and now live in Bixby.
About the Author
A 2000 Sapulpa High School graduate Julia loves to spend time with her two boys. Currently, she works on Celebrations and Obituaries along with special interest stories.