NASHVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - The family of a U.S. Army National Guard infantryman in Berrien County calls him a hero thanks to his actions during a house fire.
WALB and Montlick and Associates are honoring Justin Godwin as part of our series, "Heroes Among Us."
Godwin has been in the National Guard for several years.
"My father, my grandfather and all of them served in the military. So, it's something I've always dreamed of doing," Godwin said.
He got home from a tour in Afghanistan this past July. After spending that long overseas, he explained that it’s been tough getting back into the swing of things.
“It’s really aggravating because once you get back you’re still in that mindset of being deployed,” he said. “I’m still trying to get back into that civilian mindset.”
With the support of his girlfriend Jessica Sexton, he’s overcoming some of those difficulties.
But on Oct. 21, he faced something he didn’t think he’d ever have to overcome.
“Woke up to my mom being all frantic, saying, 'need to get out of the house! Need to get out of the house! The house is on fire!” Godwin recalled.
“I got a phone call from his mom, and she was crying and stuff. She couldn’t really get it out. All she was saying was, the house was on fire and the kids wouldn’t get out of the bed,” Sexton said.
Justin jumped into action to save his family and their home.
“That’s just Justin,” his girlfriend said.
His family originally thought their house was on fire, though it turned out to be the house next door.
“Made sure that everybody was out first, and then just started spraying down everything so it didn’t jump over to our house,” Godwin said of his actions.
“The fire was so big, we assumed it would probably transfer over here,” Sexton said.
“At one point in time, it caught the pine tree on fire,” Godwin said. “It was sending a lot of embers and stuff our way.”
Sexton said she believes her boyfriend’s actions to save their home make him a hero.
“He’s got a big heart. He tries to help others to the best of his ability,” she said.
But to him, that’s just who he is.
“If I had to do it all over again, I would have done the same thing to ensure the safety of my family. That’s the main thing,” Godwin said.
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