Saturday, December 20, 2014

Honoring A Fallen Hero

Enough with all the bad news. Here's a touching story about good people doing good things for other good people.

I've written before about a local man, Air Force Capt. Mark Voss, who was killed while serving in Afghanistan. In a bittersweet story just in time for the holidays, his comrades in arms just delivered a moving and appropriate tribute to his parents.
After spending more than 1,500 hours completing a 2001 Vans RV-8 that belonged to his fallen comrade, Air Force Captain Mark Tyler Voss, Staff Sergeant Matthew Perroux handed the plane over to Voss’s parents Wayne and Marcy Friday.

Air Force Captain Manuel Ochoa, who also knew Voss, piloted the plane from Spokane, Washington. After a five-day, cross-country journey, he and Perroux landed the aircraft at Boerne Stage Airfield, where they were embraced by the Vosses.

Perroux and Ochoa were helping Voss work on his plane before he was deployed to Kyrgyzstan last year. Voss was killed there in a KC-135 tanker explosion during a refueling mission for Afghanistan war operations.

Voss’s mother, Marcy said the plane represents a piece of her son coming home and she feels she is being reunited with part of his life.

“The thing we’ve been so touched by is the response of people to Tyler’s death,” she said. “We have been so blessed by so many people in different ways and here it is a year-and-a-half later and we’re still being blessed. Matt Perroux, out of the love and kindness of his heart, has spent the entire last year rebuilding the plane and helping Tyler fulfill that dream.”

Perroux, a KC-135 electrician for the Air Force, was Voss’s instructor for an aircrew servicing class at Fairchild AFB in November 2012. In December that year, Voss flew Perroux in the plane and convinced him to help him upgrade its panel.

“When the crash happened, Wayne, Marcy and the rest of his family came up for the memorial,” Perroux said. “I met them. They came to the hanger and I wanted to show them where we were at with it. At that time the aircraft was gutted. There was no way they could fly it because everything was pulled out of it.”

Flying the plane to the Vosses was emotional and a long time coming, Perroux said.

“It didn’t feel right to leave it that way knowing I had the ability and the time to do it, to finish it how Tyler wanted,” Perroux said. “It was a no-brainer for me. I didn’t hesitate to offer to finish it and to give the Vosses back a piece of him that’s complete.”

Ochoa, who met Voss in Spokane, where they were assigned to the same squadron at Fairchild Air Force Base in January 2010, said it was a privilege to fly Voss’s plane to his parents.

“It’s great to be able to bring something that was a great part of him, a great part of his life, back to his family,” Ochoa said. “It’s something to remember him by, to honor him.”

 Post 688 VFW Commander Andrew Camplen, former Commander Dave Judson and member Charlie Weatherbee were also at the airfield showing support for the Voss family. Camplen said he felt honored to witness the event.

“It’s always an honor to support the Voss family or any other family members of veterans,” Camplen said. “This is a wonderful thing to see the plane flown in from Washington. It’s really an honor to be here.
Wayne and Marcy Voss, parents of late Air Force Captain Mark Tyler Voss, view his completed RV-8 aircraft shortly after it landed at Boerne Stage Airfield Friday.

You can see more great pictures and accompanying text here. Thanks to XS3mdrvr for the link.


Well Seasoned Fool said...

Thanks for sharing this.

CenTexTim said...

Nice to read something uplifting for a change.

XS3mdrvr said...

Tim, I knew you were interested in Capt. Mark Voss from your previous post
regarding his funeral, but never imagined that you would post such a remarkably
comprehensive and touching tribute to him, and his family and friends who made
this exemplary tribute possible. IMHO, this is one of your greatest posts yet.
May your family, friends, and associates enjoy peace, hope, harmony and cheer
this Christmas and New Year seasons.


CenTexTim said...

Thanks for the kind words, but all I did was cut-and-paste the story from our local paper. It's the people who honored him in such a wonderful fashion that deserve the credit.

Thanks also for the link.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.

Old NFO said...

That is very well done!!! Thanks for putting that up!

CenTexTim said...

It was a pleasure.