Eric Nardacci, of East Greenbush, is currently deployed in the Middle East and has been a member of the Air Force for the past 12 years.

As part of the “Hometown Heroes” series, we’ve partnered with County Waste, Latham Ford, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region and Awards by Walsh to celebrate local unsung heroes for their good deeds and honorable work.

We asked Eric a few questions. Here's what he had to say.
Q: What made you want to join the US Air Force?

A: I joined because military service runs in our family and after the events on 9-11, I knew that it was time. I chose the USAF to try something different and aviation was always something that was interesting to me.

Q: What's the most rewarding thing about what you do?
A: The most rewarding thing about my job as an aircraft mechanic, Crew Chief, is watching a jet take off safely and on time. Without us "knucklebusters," the guys on the front lines would not be getting the important equipment necessary to do their job.

Q: What are some of the challenges?
A: Some of the challenges I face at work are: long hours, the temperature out here is in the 100s, and most of all, being away from home and missing very important milestones in my daughter’s life.

Q: Do you consider yourself a "hero?" Why or why not?
A: This question is a little difficult. I even asked some of my team what their take on it is. I personally don’t consider myself a hero. Others may, but I am just doing the job I signed up for. Yes, it brings me to places in the world that I don’t want my family and loved ones to ever experience, but does that make me a hero? Maybe, but if it wasn’t me out here doing this, it would be some other mother’s son, some other man’s brother, another woman’s husband, or some other girl’s father.