New York Air National Guardsmen honored for sacrifice in Afghanistan
Two Air National Guardsmen, including one that was a Bronx police officer, were honored Saturday for making the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
Tech Sergeant Joseph Lemm, who was also an NYPD detective, and Staff Sgt. Louis Bonacasa were posthumously awarded various commendations, including the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star with valor.
Commander Keith Givens says the "valor" added to their Bronze Star means that the men were heroic in their final moments.
"Their children are still very young and we want to make sure they know their fathers were heroes," says Givens.
Less than six months ago, both men, along with four others, were killed in Afghanistan by a suicide bomber. Lemm and Bonacasa shielded their fellow airmen from the brunt of the blast.
The awards were presented to their families at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, along with friends and fellow airmen.