Letter Carrier Deborah Ochetti of Burnsville has received the National Association of Letter Carriers’ award as Humanitarian of the Year. She was honored Oct. 4 along with several Letter Carriers from across the nation who were cited as heroes.
Ochetti, a member of Branch 9 in Minneapolis, donated bone marrow to save the life of a stranger she had never met.
Other union members were recognized for their bravery:
Matthew Lamb of Johnstown, Pa., was named National Hero of the Year for rescuing two people from a burning house, including catching a 20-year-old man who jumped from a second-story window.
Clinton Parker of Waterbury, Conn., a 30-year Army veteran named Eastern Hero of the Year, counseled a fellow veteran suffering from PTSD to yield his weapon, which he’d already fired.
Donte Cotton of Dayton, Ohio, the Central Hero of the Year, crawled through broken glass to extricate a baby girl from a car that had flipped onto its roof.
Daniel Ochoa of Garden Grove, Calif., a Marine Reservist named Western Hero of the Year, saw smoke coming from a customer’s house, spotted a propane tank near the fire and doused the flames.
“It doesn’t take a hurricane to become a hero,” Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando told the packed awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., hotel.
“What it takes is someone who knows the neighborhoods he or she works in, who cares about the residents, who is aware of his or her surrounding and who is prepared to act when necessary, whatever the dangers.
“I would suggest that in their own quiet way, the Carriers gathered here have demonstrated the very essence of leadership and of serving others. They saw an urgent danger or an unmet need – and they stepped up,” Rolando declared.