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NEWS | Feb. 3, 2022

733rd Air Mobility Squadron Airman Saves Local Man from Truck Fire

By Airman 1st Class Sebastian Romawac 18th Wing Public Affairs

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- As he walked alongside his wife down familiar Yomitan streets to buy groceries, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Garrett Bodie, 733rd Air Mobility Squadron support NCO in charge, noticed something was wrong.

Bodie had noticed sparks beginning to catch fire in the undercarriage of a truck driving by, plumes of smoke leaving a trail behind.

Instinct kicked in and he pursued the vehicle.

“Please, God, let there be a red light up ahead so that this truck stops,” Bodie prayed.

His prayers were answered when the truck stopped at a red light. Bodie arrived at the passenger side window using hand gestures to communicate the emergency to the elderly Okinawan driver, who struggled to understand him through the language barrier.

Bodie was able to get the driver out of the truck before smoke and flames enveloped the vehicle entirely.

With the help of a local passerby, Bodie removed the keys from the car and used a fire extinguisher from a nearby convenience store to control the growing blaze until local firefighters arrived on the scene to extinguish the fire completely.

“I’m glad everybody ended up being safe and nobody got hurt,” Bodie said.

Bodie’s supervisor, Master Sgt. Justin Barao, 733rd AMS support section chief, believes this act of service and selflessness wasn’t unordinary for Bodie.

“I was not surprised when I got the message that he had done that,” Barao said. “He is the type of guy you can rely on, and I couldn’t be more blessed to have him on my team.”

Bodie attests his character today to his mother, father and community for teaching him a desire to care for and understand others at a young age.

“I come from the Southeast, a part of America that places a high emphasis on manners and communal respect,” Bodie said. “I have a very deep resonance with the Japanese and Okinawan culture, and I’ve found a lot of common ground and comradery since I’ve been here.”

Bodie is no stranger to hardship, and was met with the challenge of his father’s myelofibrosis diagnosis while attending college earlier in his adulthood.

This rare blood cancer diagnosis challenged Bodie’s family to come together, the desire to help his parents through it taking priority over feelings of hopelessness.

“I think all of us are a lot tougher than we think we are,” Bodie said. “There's a certain level of re-energizing that takes place when we have the opportunity to serve others and put them before ourselves.”

Team Kadena succeeds in cultivating an environment for teamwork to grow amongst our troops and neighboring communities when Airmen like Bodie decide to put others before themselves.

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