CHARLOTTE—The four bodies of the NC Air National Guardsmen killed in a plane crash returned to Charlotte Wednesday around 2:15 p.m.
They were greeted by their families and hundreds of men and women with the guard. Lt. Col. Paul Mikeal, Senior Master Sgt. Robbie Cannon, Maj. Joe McCormick and Maj. Ryan David died July 1 when their C-130 plane crashed while fighting a fire in South Dakota.
On Wednesday they returned to their hometowns so family can prepare for their funerals. It was Military honors at its finest. The bodies were escorted back from Dover by Air Guard members, selected by family of the fallen men.
A C-130 cargo plane, similar to the one that crashed in South Dakota, returned the bodies of four men. The Air National Guard held a dignified transfer of the bodies, a military tradition and honor.
“Everything is a slow movement at that time, that salute, that solemn salute, three seconds,” said Wing Command Chief N.C. Air National Guard Chief Master Sgt. Maurice Williams.
Hundreds of Air Guard members stood at attention for the ceremony. Only silence and a few passing planes could be heard as the bodies were loaded one by one into waiting hearses.
“All those members were close nit, working air guard. A lot of people spent a lot of time out here, working together, so it's an honor for us to provide those type services,” said Chief Master Sgt. Williams.
The military honors will continue for the next couple of days as families organize visitations and funerals for the men.
Watch the transfer ceremony in its entirety
TWC News: Bodies of fallen NC National Guard Airmen return home
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