BUFFALO, NY - A Western New York native is happy to be back in the US after being recognized for her bravery in battle.
Captain Jennifer Curtis is a nurse practitioner and one of 20 people to receive a Portrait in Courage award from the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force.
Curtis was chosen to receive the honor from nearly 700,000 active members of the Air Force.
While on her mission in Afghanistan, her main assignment was to work with the Army special forces to help educate Afghan women in order to help stabilize villages.
But the mission proved to be dangerous. Captain Curtis was on the receiving end of more than 126 mortar rounds over the course of her deployment. One night, the compound was attacked for twenty minutes and she was the only medic available to help the wounded.
Curtis says, "You realize it could have been a lot worse than it was. It was pretty bad but it could have been worse and you're just thankful and grateful that everybody was safe. Everybody returned back to the mission, nobody sent home due to injury."
Her mother in Buffalo told us she is relieved, thankful, and proud, "It's kind of terrifying to know what she had done, a lot of times I'm proud. It's impressive, very heroic and brave. But as a mom, I did not sleep for eight months" says Susan Jaworski.
Captain Curtis has also been awarded the Bronze Star. She says her husband back here at home is the true hero, however, because he was a single parent while she was overseas.