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Hometown Hero takes flight with the Thunderbirds

Sergeant Aaron Thompson, Utah Washington County Sheriff, waves at his family and friends before flying with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds June 22, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Thompson was selected to fly with the Thunderbirds as part of their Hometown Hero program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Sergeant Aaron Thompson, Utah Washington County Sheriff, gives the thumbs up before flying with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds June 22, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Thompson was selected to fly with the Thunderbirds as part of their Hometown Hero program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Sergeant Aaron Thompson, Utah Washington County Sheriff, gets fitted for his oxygen mask with the help of  Tech. Sgt. Ed Portan, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds aircrew flight equipment, June 22, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Thompson was selected to fly with the Thunderbirds as part of their Hometown Hero program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Sergeant Aaron Thompson, Utah Washington County Sheriff, gets fitted for his oxygen mask with the help of Tech. Sgt. Ed Portan, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds aircrew flight equipment, June 22, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Thompson was selected to fly with the Thunderbirds as part of their Hometown Hero program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Sergeant Aaron Thompson, Utah Washington County Sheriff, gets fitted for his anti-g suit with the help of  Tech. Sgt. Ed Portan, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds aircrew flight equipment, June 22, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Thompson was selected to fly with the Thunderbirds as part of their Hometown Hero program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Sergeant Aaron Thompson, Utah Washington County Sheriff, gets fitted for his anti-g suit with the help of Tech. Sgt. Ed Portan, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds aircrew flight equipment, June 22, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Thompson was selected to fly with the Thunderbirds as part of their Hometown Hero program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Jason Barlow and his family watch Sgt. Aaron Thompson, Utah Washington County Sheriff,  take off in a U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds jet June 22, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Thompson was selected to fly with the Thunderbirds as part of their Hometown Hero program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Jason Barlow and his family watch Sgt. Aaron Thompson, Utah Washington County Sheriff, take off in a U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds jet June 22, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Thompson was selected to fly with the Thunderbirds as part of their Hometown Hero program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Sergeant Aaron Thompson, Utah Washington County Sheriff, waves at his family and friends before flying with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds June 22, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Thompson was selected to fly with the Thunderbirds as part of their Hometown Hero program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Sergeant Aaron Thompson, Utah Washington County Sheriff, waves at his family and friends before flying with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds June 22, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Thompson was selected to fly with the Thunderbirds as part of their Hometown Hero program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Sergeant Aaron Thompson, Utah Washington County Sheriff, takes off with Maj. Randen Felker, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds pilot, June 22, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Thompson was selected to fly with the Thunderbirds as part of their Hometown Hero program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Sergeant Aaron Thompson, Utah Washington County Sheriff, takes off with Maj. Randen Felker, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds pilot, June 22, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Thompson was selected to fly with the Thunderbirds as part of their Hometown Hero program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Sergeant Aaron Thompson, Utah Washington County Sheriff, is all smiles upon landing with U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds June 22, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. He was selected to fly with the Thunderbirds as part of their Hometown Hero program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Sergeant Aaron Thompson, Utah Washington County Sheriff, is all smiles upon landing with U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds June 22, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. He was selected to fly with the Thunderbirds as part of their Hometown Hero program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Sergeant Aaron Thompson, Utah Washington County Sheriff, touches the ground upon landing with U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds June 22, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. He was selected to fly with the Thunderbirds as part of their Hometown Hero program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Sergeant Aaron Thompson, Utah Washington County Sheriff, touches the ground upon landing with U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds June 22, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. He was selected to fly with the Thunderbirds as part of their Hometown Hero program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- A local hero was honored June 22 in advance of the Warriors Over the Wasatch Air and Space Show held at Hill Air Force Base June 23-24.

Utah Washington County Sheriff Sgt. Aaron Thompson got to fly with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds as part of the aerial demonstration squadron’s Hometown Hero program. The program salutes average American citizens doing amazing things in their communities.

Thompson was selected to fly with the team for his courageous actions in December 2017. Last Christmas Day, without any thought to his safety, he punched his way through a frozen pond to rescue a boy who had fallen through the ice.

The boy, Jason Barlow, had chased his dog onto the ice and fell in about 25 feet from the shore.

Thompson was one of the first to arrive on the scene and walked out to the ice, stomped through it, and once he was in the icy water used his fists to break through the ice to find Jason.

“I was just doing my job. I was in the right place at the right time,” said Thompson.

He credits the team effort between the emergency dispatcher, himself and the other first responders on scene that day for helping save Barlow’s life.

Thompson’s family was on hand to witness the flight, as well as Barlow and his family.

When Thompson found out he would fly with the Thunderbirds, he was understandably excited.

“This is an experience of a lifetime,” he said.

However, he said he felt a little guilty that so much attention was being put on him.

“I’m so thrilled to get the honor, but this flight isn’t just about me, but also about Jason and his family,” said Thompson.

Thompson’s daughter Aimee was equally delighted for her father.

“We’re so excited for him,” she said. “And you can tell he’s also excited. It’s just so incredible.”

After the hour-long flight, Thompson climbed out of the jet and kissed the ground.

When asked if he enjoyed the flight Thompson said, “It was absolutely incredible. We took off like a rocket and all of a sudden everything was small.

“I would absolutely do it again. In a heartbeat,” he said.