Shortsville, N.Y. – Friends and family gathered at Red Jacket High School Wednesday morning to celebrate fallen airman Kory Wade – and they weren’t alone.
Wade died in a training accident in Arizona last month. His body was recovered three days after the accident, on June 17. He was 33-years-old.
Last week, he was brought back up to his hometown.
Wade grew up in Shortsville, graduating from high school in 2008. As those who knew wade continue to mourn their loss, those who didn’t continue to offer their support.
“The young man that we’re honoring today, didn’t die in combat, but it’s even worse, he died while training to protect us,” Bruce Forsyth said.
Forsyth is the Patriot Guard lead rider for the Wade mission.
“A Patriot Guard rider honors veteran services by coming to funerals, standing flag runs, rendering honors during services, sometimes with military honor guard, sometimes without,” Forsyth said.
He organized the other Patriot Guard members Wednesday, ensuring that Wade’s remains were delivered into the high school with respect and appropriate honors.
“He wouldn’t have passed away if he hadn’t been training on our behalf, so it means a lot to come out here and support him – the memory of him, and his family,” Forsyth said.
The American Gold Star Mothers also came out for the Wade family.
“It’s an organization nobody wants to join, but unfortunately Kory’s mother is now a member,” member Holly Baker said.
To be a gold star mother is to have lost a child that served in the military. The American Gold Star Mothers is a nonprofit that does what they can to help grieving mothers through the process. Neither Baker, nor gold star mother Tammy Bell, know the Wade family personally, but they came out Wednesday to show their support for Wade’s family – especially his mother.
“It’s a new experience for Kory’s mom,” she said. “She’s going to need all the support she can get. And if we can be just a little bit of support, that’s what we’re here for,” Baker said.
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