PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A welcome back party fit for an American hero. The Pinellas Park Fire Department hosted a welcome back ceremony for Joseph Jago on Monday morning, one special firefighter and EMT who was deployed overseas in Africa for the past year with the Florida National Guard.
Serving his country is Jago’s calling.
“I’m lucky to be able to. I’ve always wanted to, years ago when I was a kid. I’m just lucky that I get to do it,” said Jago.
“I was itching to get back. It was fun for a while, but I was ready to get back and into the groove of things and to be a firefighter once again,” Jago continued.
Jago’s wife and three children, along with dozens of members of his extended fire family took time on Monday morning to welcome him back home.
“He’s got a special makeup, the sacrifice he does to leave his family, to leave his job, to do what he does for our country. To me is, it’s a great sacrifice, it takes a special person,” said Robert Angell, EMS Division Chief.
This isn’t the first time the 34-year-old has served his country.
He served two tours of duty with the U.S. Army in Iraq, receiving a Purple Heart in 2006 after his truck was blasted by an IED.
“It means a lot to me, I don’t feel like I deserve it necessarily, but it definitely shows a lot on their part, how much they care,” said Jago of the gathering.
Jago has been with the Pinellas Park Fire Department since 2012 and decided to re-enlist with the National Guard two years ago.