Age of heroes

Carmichael, CA, City Carrier Assistant Scott Gallegos was named Hero of the Year by the National Association of Letter Carriers in October.

This year’s Postal Service heroes were a diverse group, but they have one thing in common: a willingness to put others’ needs before their own.

Carmichael, CA, City Carrier Assistant Scott Gallegos shielded a shooting victim from further gunfire.

“It’s kind of an overwhelming feeling to know that you can help somebody like that,” said Gallegos, who later received the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Hero of the Year Award.

Elsewhere, Bedford Park, IL, Automotive Technician James Iazzetto saved children from a burning home. So did Ingomar, PA, City Carrier Assistant Sean Matulevic — a.k.a. “The Mailman of Steel” — who knocked in a heavy door during his rescue.

Some heroes assisted sick co-workers, including the Minnesota trio of Angela Joyce, Jolene Ramler and Daniel Schmidt; the Massachusetts team of Amy DeLuca, Leonard Giannetti and Samantha Glazebrook; and the Ohio duo of Susan Penney and Ruth Bennett.

At least one hero received help from a four-legged friend: Winthrop, WA, Rural Carrier Dori Blackburn rescued a cat trapped in a trailer — but only after a dog led her there.

Some employees proved heroic for other reasons, including Crestview, FL, Rural Carrier Anita Fee, an amputee whose perseverance inspired her co-workers.