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Defiance teacher, veteran honored as Ohio's 'Military Man of the Year'

Master Sergeant Austin Carr is a Defiance High School teacher and helped airlift refugees in Kabul with the United States Air Force.

DEFIANCE, Ohio — Master Sgt. Austin Carr is a teacher, a coach and a mentor at Defiance High School.

The last time we brought you his story, he was in Kabul, Afghanistan and airlifting refugees to safety.

RELATED: Defiance teacher, coach helps rescue Afghan refugees in Kabul

Now, he's sharing what he saw, and what he learned, with his community. 

If you ask him, he's not the important part of the story.

"It was just great to see their smiling faces again, I thought about it almost every day," Carr said. "I tried to tell the kids that and I wanted to know that they were a big part of me doing what I was doing over there."

Credit: Carr family

If you ask his parents, who just got their youngest of four back home safe, they'll tell you how proud they are.

"Actually, I've slept a whole lot better since he's been home," said Austin's mom, Jean Carr. 

"Yeah, ditto," agreed his dad, Rob Carr. "It was just a huge relief to have him home."

If you ask the governor and lieutenant governor, Carr's actions are worthy of recognition as an example, and as Military Man of the Year for the state of Ohio.

"If you ask him, it's not about him, it's about the mission and the service and helping others which makes us admire him even more," Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said.

Credit: WTOL 11

While they all spoke, students listened and honored Carr and the other veterans sitting in the packed gym, with Teacher Carr hoping if they learn one thing from his story, it's this:

"There have been veterans in the past that haven't received that thank you that they deserve, and I think we owe it to them," Carr said.

Carr is thankful to be headed back to his classroom the week of Thanksgiving.