ONTARIO COUNTY, N.Y. — A final homecoming took place Wednesday for a local airman killed during a training mission 11 days earlier.
It’s not how friends and neighbors expected to welcome him home, but it’s one they will never forget and will hold close to their hearts.
Dozens of community members came out to pay tribute to and honor Air Force Staff Sgt. Kory Wade Wednesday evening.
They lined up for hours on the sidewalks and front lawns along Route 21 in Manchester for his final arrival home. When they heard the sirens from about a mile away, they knew he was close by, and prepared to say their goodbyes.
As the procession came down Route 21 and his hearse passed by the crowd, they cheered and waved their American flags.
A friend of Kory’s who has known him since high school is heartbroken. It’s been tough for her and her family with the loss of Kory.
“It’s been hard. The news came as a shock to me. I found out through multiple posts on Facebook through mutual friends. I knew Kory for many years. My kids and I always looked forward to him coming home to visit us. He always made sure he came to visit the girls. They enjoyed it, and he is going to be very missed,” Alisha Gresty said.
One neighbor who is friends with Kory’s father says this is a small town and Kory was not only family, but he is also their hometown hero.
“I have a lot of family who is in the military and it’s just the right thing to do, to show your respect. This is a small town, but these neighbors tell me they are like family and wanted to be there to show their love and support for Kory and his family. We appreciate his service, and his family’s sacrifice for sure,” Kim Williamson said.
Friends and family are invited to a gathering to remember Staff Sgt. Kory Wade on Wednesday, July 5, at the Red Jacket High School auditorium from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
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