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Barrow firefighter honored for military service

Barrow County fire Lt. Travis Vanzo, a staff sergeant in the Army National Guard, was recently honored for his military service.

Barrow County fire Lt. Travis Vanzo, a staff sergeant in the Army National Guard, was recently honored for his military service.

WINDER -- A Barrow County firefighter was recently honored for his military service.

Lt. Travis Vanzo, who spent 14 years in the Air Force Reserve before serving overseas tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was nominated for the "Ultimate Wingman Award" through the Georgia National Guard. The award recognizes those service members who go above and beyond the call of duty.

Nominees are expected to "exhibit remarkable commitment to their country, outstanding contributions to their community and a compassion and concern for their fellow service members."

Vanzo and other nominees were honored at a banquet at the Cobb Energy Center.

"It is a real honor to have been nominated for this award," Vanzo said. "I am one of only five soldiers nominated for this honor from the 78th Aviation Troop Command, Georgia Army National Guard."

Beginning in February 1990, Vanzo served 14 years with the Air Force Reserve. After a two-year break from the military to earn a paramedic degree, he joined the Army National Guard in 2006 and became a certified flight medic.

Vanzo served a tour in Iraq from 2010 to 2011, and another in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012. He received several recognitions, including the Army Meritorious Service Ribbon, the Army Achievement Medal and the Army Air Medal. He was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant.

"We are very proud that Lt. Vanzo received this recognition for his dedication to Barrow County, the state of Georgia and the United States of America," Barrow County Fire Chief Dennis Merrifield said. "He is a very patriotic, dedicated man that is a wonderful example of the great men and women that work for Barrow County Emergency Services."