State News

Airmen remembered as heroes, family men

Posted July 10, 2012
Updated July 11, 2012

— A memorial service was held Tuesday morning for the four North Carolina Air National Guard airmen killed when their plane crashed while fighting a wildfire.

The airmen's families, invited guests and members of the 145th Airlift Wing attended the private service at the unit's base in Charlotte.

Lt. Col. Paul Mikeal, 42, Maj. Joseph McCormick, 36, Maj. Ryan David, 35, and Senior Master Sgt. Robert Cannon, 50, all died July 1 when their C-130 crashed while fighting a wildfire in the South Dakota Black Hills. Two crewmen were injured.

In eulogizes his colleague, Maj. James Bodolosky said of McCormick, "If Joe said something, he was a man of his word. He was the most honorable man that I knew. He worked very hard to bring honor to himself, to his family, to his country."

The four men leave behind nine children, including the a baby boy born six months ago. Gov. Bev Perdue presented the men's widows with flags flown over the State Capitol.

Among the state officials attending Tuesday were Perdue, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, the Democratic candidate for governor, and Pat McCrory, the Republican contender for governor.

Services held for NC Air National Guardsmen State leaders, colleagues, family honor fallen airmen  


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  • bluegrass Jul 11, 2012

    I think it is disgraceful on the part of the National Guard that they thought so little of these members that the didn't even wear their dress uniforms to honor them. Sad commentary for our Guard IMO.

  • whyalltheproblems Jul 10, 2012

    There is more at stake here than someone not doing his/her research.
    At least starvingdog's comment reflected What happened.

    This is a Horrible hand dealt to the families left behind. My heart goes out to them as they begin this tremendous journey of carrying on without their husbands, fathers, sons. So very, very sad.

  • Plum Tuckered Jul 10, 2012

    Hey starvingdog,

    N.C. flew flags at half-mast in honor of the lost airmen on Tuesday, July 3rd.

    From "Gov. Beverly Perdue ordered all state flags to be lowered to half-staff until sunset Tuesday in honor of the C-130 crew."

    There's a quote from Mark Twain about keeping ones mouth shut. Please research it and put it to use. Thank you.

  • ss3510 Jul 10, 2012

    More young and skilled Men and Women DYING for a mistake.
    The families are in my mind and heart.
    How sad.

  • info257 Jul 10, 2012

    One of my friend's brothers was Mr. Cannon - one of those who died. Brought it all back home to me ... it's one thing to read about those who were killed, but when it affects someone you know, it just seems so real. God bless these families.

  • 426X3 Jul 10, 2012

    R.I.P. Brave Airmen.

  • starvingdog Jul 10, 2012

    I read somewhere else on this site that South Dakota was flying all flags at half-mast in honor of these men. I wish NC had done the same. Thanks, SD...

  • BEACH Jul 10, 2012

    This was my Brother's unit he retired from after 20 years, lot of prayers for these families. I thought that could have been me sitting there.I understand how they feel as I has lost someone already in the service. Time heals but the hurt never goes away. RIP you were doing a wonderful service trying to save losts of people's homes. Thanks to all our servicemen for what you doing daily !!!!!!

  • Yankee Jul 10, 2012

    Thanks for your loyal and brave service to our country.

  • SFSOLDIER Jul 10, 2012

    God Bless these Soldiers.