Captain Victoria A. Pinckney
Technical Sergeant Herman Mackey III
Since 2001 we have lost 2220 American troops in Afghanistan and a total of 3305 American and coalition forces.
The Department of Defense announced today the death of three airmen who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.Amazing Grace performed by the U.S. Air Force Band
They died May 3, near Chon-Aryk, Kyrgyzstan, in the crash of a KC-135 aircraft. The airmen were assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Capt. Mark T. Voss, 27, of Colorado Springs, Colo.,
Capt. Victoria A. Pinckney, 27, of Palmdale, Calif., and
Tech Sgt. Herman Mackey III, 30, of Bakersfield, Calif.
~ DoD News Release
Taps sounded on an original Civil War era clarion
Day is done...Gone the sun
From the lake...
From the hills...
From the sky.
All is well...Safely rest
God is nigh.
A short time after takeoff the aircraft exploded and crashed in the rugged and remote mountains of Kyrgyzstan which is approximately 100 miles west of the base. All three crewmembers who were home based at Fairchild Air Force Base, Spokane, Washington, perished in the crash. They had been assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron. This is the first fatality involving a tanker crew from Fairchild AFB since 1999.
Base officials announced that there will be a public memorial service held in Spokane at a time and date to be determined and most likely off base at a large venue.
'All three of these patriots were members of our proud 93d Air Refueling Squadron, ' the Air Force said on Facebook. 'These brave Airmen leave behind an incredible legacy and show what we all know, that freedom is never free. 'Col. Brian Newberry, commander of the 92nd Air Refueling Wing based at Fairchild:
Certainly we’ve been through it before, but it’s been a long time. We need to carry their torch, and we need to remember them.Spokane Mayor David Condon issued the following statement:
Their mission is to deliver, and these brave airmen were headed south on a mission to fuel freedom for our great nation.They were answering the call so that others may prevail, and they gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the three members of Fairchild Air Force Base and Spokane community who died serving their country. We are reminded of the sacrifice members of the military make every day for all of us, and offer our heartfelt condolences to the entire military family who is grieving their loss. Spokane stands ready to support our Fairchild family.Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers released the following statement:
Today, my thoughts and prayers go to the family, friends, and fellow Airmen of Captain Mark T. Voss, Captain Victoria A. Pinckney, and Technical Sergeant Herman Mackey III, who lost their lives last Friday when their KC-135 aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff near Chon-Aryk, Kyrgyzstan while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. All three of these patriots were members of our Eastern Washington community as proud members of the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron at Fairchild Air Force Base.~Source ~ Source ~ Source ~ Source ~ Source ~ Source
These brave Airmen leave behind an incredible legacy and remind all of us that freedom is never free. Eastern Washington will forever honor Captain Voss, Captain Pinckney, and Technical Sergeant Mackey for making the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation and their service will never be forgotten.
Tyler received his wings in March of 2010 after graduating from pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base, Del Rio, Texas. He received a training award for the highest score in his class on flight check rides.
Voss was stationed at Fairchild where he flew KC-135 Stratotankers, was promoted to Captain in May 2012 and became Aircraft Commander in March 2013.
Col. Brian Newberry called Captain Voss a “great aircraft commander” and said that every time he saw him he would have a smile on his face.
Captain Mark Tyler Voss is survived by his father, Wayne Voss; mother, Marcy Voss; brother, Forrest - a student at Texas A&M University; and his sister, Morgan - a student of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
"Tori" enjoyed scrapbooking, snow boarding, crochet and held a black belt and red stripe in karate.
Col. Brian Newberry, who called Pinckney a "great aircraft commander" remembered "Tori" sharing baby pictures soon after her son, Gabriel was born. “Not only was she a fine airman, but she was a mom. She was one of the first members of Team Fairchild that I learned was pregnant. I remember all the happiness that she had."
Captain Victoria Ann Pinckney leaves behind her husband, Richard; 7 month old son, Gabriel; mother Michelle Castro; father, Larry Castro; sister, Nichol; sister, Samantha, Grandparents Terry and Don Castro; Grandparents Josephine and Emil Grulkowski and a host of aunts, uncles and cousins.
He was an enthusiastic University of Southern California football fan as well as a Los Angeles Lakers fan. He loved to barbecue and host parties.
His wife, Megan Mackey said, "He would light up the room with his humor and smile. He had no enemies, was a stranger to no one and always there to lend a hand to anyone who needed it."
Tech Sgt Herman Mackey III leaves behind his wife, Megan; daughter, Payton; mother, Debbie; sister, Becka; sister, Donna; sister, Phyllicia; brother, Triston and brother, Yusef.
"I Got the News Today" is a diary series intended to honor, respect, and remind us of the sacrifice of our US troops. Click here to see the series, which was begun by i dunno, and which is maintained by Sandy on Signal, noweasels, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, SisTwo, SpamNunn, TrueBlueMajority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, maggiejean, Ekaterin and me, JaxDem.
These diaries are heartbreaking to write, but are an important service to those who have died, and show our community’s respect for them. Diaries about the fallen usually appear two days after their names are officially released, which allows time for the IGTNT team to find and tell their stories.
The only known current Prisoner of War is Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl, 26 who was captured by the Taliban in June of 2009. Five propaganda videos featuring Bergdahl have been released by the Taliban. A website has been established with the most up-to-date information on Sgt. Bergdahl.Please keep good thoughts and prayers for Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl.
Please bear in mind that these diaries are read by friends and family of the service members mentioned here. May all of our remembrances be full of compassion rather than politics.