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Charlotte Area News

Firefighting Airmen Remembered


Four members of the Charlotte-based 145th Airlift Wing, who died fighting wildfires, were remembered today for the positive examples they set. Governor Bev Perdue addressed mourners at the unit's armory near Charlotte Douglas Airport. She expressed, "In our state and our nation, we Americans continue to constantly call on the very best among us. We send them out to confront dangers far away and we pray, oh how do we pray, for their safe return. Unfairly sometimes they do not always come back." Lieutenant Colonel Paul Mikeal, Major Joseph McCormick, Major Ryan David, and Senior Master Sergeant Robert Cannon died July 1 when their C130 crashed in South Dakota. A different member of the National Guard spoke for each of the victims. Major Joe McCormick, was noted for how he continuously pushed himself and others to improve. Major James Bodolosky said, "As we walked through life together, Joe and I encouraged and strengthened one another. He was always sharpening me and I was always sharpening him and I will miss him dearly." Two other survivors of the crash are still hospitalized with injuries from the crash. Lt. Col. Paul Mikeal Major Joseph McCormick Major Ryan David Senior Master Sgt. Robert Cannon