An airman from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana saved a teenager from a smoking car last month, according to a news release.

Second Lt. Adam Sacchetti, a supply and logistics officer with 2nd Security Forces Squadron, was about to get a tattoo in San Antonio when he heard a “massive crunching noise” on April 6.

“I looked up and all I saw was a vehicle flying vertically through the air,” Sacchetti said in the release. “It flipped and landed, crushing right down on the roof.”

Sacchetti has been a security forces airman for almost 12 years, and he immediately ran out to the busy three-lane road and tried to stop traffic.

The airman, who is trained in combat lifesaving, saw a teenager trapped inside the flipped car.

“I could see this kid was in complete shock, but he was moving around trying to get out. The car was smoking and there was fluid all around. That was when I made the decision to pull him out,” he said.

Sacchetti reached in and pulled the 17-year-old to safety. When first responders arrived, the airman relayed the information and went back to the parlor to get his tattoo.

“Being prior enlisted, I have had a lot of deployments and have dealt with these sort of situations overseas,” Sacchetti said in the release. “When it happens, you don’t do it for notoriety or recognition, you do it because you have to. My adrenaline was pumping and I didn’t really think about myself. I saw that kid in need and felt I had to get to him. It was just instantaneously reverting back to my training.”

Lt. Col. Ryan Natalini, the squadron’s commander, said Sacchetti’s actions were nothing short of courageous.

“Lt. Sacchetti demonstrated what we expect out of our defenders,” Natalini said in the release. “He is a world-class airman, and I am proud to have him on our team.”

Sacchetti said if someone can make a difference, no matter how small, it’s better than nothing.

“I woke up that day just expecting to get a tattoo, but it turned out to be an experience I will never forget,” he said.

Charlsy is a Reporter and Engagement Manager for Military Times. Email her at

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