FULTON, NY – Fulton native Gegory Blasczienski recently received the Navy Marine Achievement Medal for saving two civilian lives in a three-car accident.
He joined the Navy in August of 2015.
“I’ve been stationed at Naval Base San Diego my entire tour,” he told Oswego County Today. “I was driving to work one day, I think it was February 21, and in front of me a vehicle ran a stop light.”
Two other vehicles were caught up in the ensuing collision.
One veered off the road and hit a power box.
“Me being right behind it, I jumped out of my vehicle and I ran over to the truck that was sitting up on the power box and the power box had sparks coming out of it,” Blasczienski said. “But then I noticed that the PT Cruiser caught fire. So I ran over there.”
He told the driver, “Sir I’m going to get you out of there.”
“I had to pull the door back and in the process I got burned myself. But I managed to get him out and I carried him to the side of the road. And then treated him for his injuries,” he said.
With that driver out of harm’s way, he ran over to the truck and got that person out.
“With all the sparking and arcing, we were afraid it would become electrified,” he said. “He was OK, but in shock. So I got him to the side of the road and propped his feet up, treated him for shock to the best of my abilities and tried to calm him down.”
The third driver didn’t have any real serious injuries, Blasczienski said.
“He just dislocated his elbow. So I helped set the elbow back and put his arm in a sling,” he said. “That’s about the time the EMS showed up.”
This is not his first award for life-saving measures. He received the Billy Mitchell Award from the Air Force when he was 15 years old. The award was a promotion to Lieutenant for showing outstanding leadership in Civil Air Patrol.
“I actually have a long history of doing crazy stuff like this,” Blasczienski admitted. “When I was 13, I was working at a civil air show. A little girl ran out across the runway as a plane was taking off and I ran out after her, grabbed her and took her out of the way.”
“I’ve pulled people out of cars before, but never when they were on fire. During winter storms whenever I saw someone off the road I’d jump out and help them,” he added.
“My mom’s first reaction to all of this was, ‘Are you crazy!?’ But she’s proud of me,” Blasczienski said. “I don’t do stuff for awards; I just want to help people.”
Gregory was born on January 17, 1997, in Oswego to his parents, Michael and Diane Blasczienski.
He graduated in June 2015 from G. Ray Bodley High School and two months later joined the Navy.
“I clearly remember the night he came home from the recruiter’s office with a contract for Special Ops. He was so excited. But, I knew what this meant. It would be putting him in harm’s way more often as he would be on special missions,” his mother told Oswego County Today.
“He knew his whole life that he wanted to ‘serve and protect,’” she added. “About a month before he left, he said to me, ‘Mom I know you don’t like this.’ I replied: ‘Honey, the one thing I know is life is short. You could walk out that door any day and something could happen to you. I will pray every day that you are safe and nothing happens to you. But, if I ever loose you, I would rather loose you to something you love.’ “
He joined the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) at the age of 12 and started flying RC airplanes. He played hockey for 12 years on Fulton youth and high school teams.
“He loved ‘air softing’ (Air soft is like paint ball but with BB rifles) and had a team as large as 25 members; so no wonder he is now an expert shooter,” his mother said.
“He thinks of others first and always. He stops the car in the middle of the road to let people cross while others drive by,” she added. “He stands for what is right and what’s fair, not for what benefits him. He has been an amazing son. There’s not ‘one thing’ that has made me proud – it’s the entirety of who is his as a person that makes me proud.”
Still, she worries.
“Yes it scares me not so much that he is in the military, but the fact that he reacts to situations where help is needed, sometimes putting his own life in jeopardy,” she said.
He has about a year and a half left in the Navy. When he gets out in August of 2019 he wants to put his training to use helping more people.
“When I’m discharged from the Navy, I want to get a job with the Oswego Fire Department,” he said.