A Green Country airman won a prestigious award for the work he does on the front lines.
U.S. Air Force Captain Nick Morgans was just recently named Combat Rescue Officer of the Year.
Morgans is a Collinsville native, a son, brother, husband and military man.
"Coming out of the small town of Collinsville, I wanted to do something big," Morgans said.
And that's exactly what he did.
Out of a group of 200 other Combat Rescue Officers, or CROs, Morgans won the top honor of CRO of the year.
"It was a surprise whenever I found out that I won at the first level, which was the air combat command. I won at that level, which is quite an honor," Morgans said.
As a CRO, Morgans is responsible for rescuing and recovering injured servicemen on the front lines.
"We go in, we'll go find these guys from start to finish, bring them home, re-integrate them, get them back to their families," Morgans said.
He has deployed four times. His most recent deployment was to Greece, where he led a 14-man squadron.
"It's quite the responsibility, obviously. Those guys look to me for leadership and direction, and I hope that I can give them what they need to go out and successfully perform the mission," Morgans said.
Although Morgans enjoys the deep bonds he creates with his Air Force brothers and their creative Christmas trees, he admits there's no place like home for the holidays.
"It's amazing—get to come home, see the family and enjoy some family time and relax," Morgans said.
"It was fun. We've had a good time and he's really enjoyed it," said his wife, Kate. "It's good to be with his family and sisters and mom and dad. It's fun."
Morgans is stationed in Georgia. He and his wife will head back there on Wednesday.
In about two weeks, Captain Morgans says he'll deploy to Afghanistan. He'll be there for about four months.