American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 2, 2012 – President Barack Obama released a statement today calling the airmen battling wildfires in the Rocky Mountain region “heroes who deserve the appreciation of a grateful nation.”
The statement comes following a crash yesterday of a North Carolina Air National Guard C-130 as its crew was battling a wildfire in South Dakota.
Here is the president’s statement:
Yesterday, a military C-130 from the North Carolina Air National Guard crashed while supporting firefighting efforts in South Dakota. The full details are still under investigation, but the crew of this flight – along with their families and loved ones – are in our thoughts and prayers.
The men and women battling these terrible fires across the West put their lives on the line every day for their fellow Americans. The airmen who attack these fires from above repeatedly confront dangerous conditions in an effort to give firefighters on the ground a chance to contain these wildfires – to save homes, businesses, schools, and entire communities. They are heroes who deserve the appreciation of a grateful nation.
I know Americans across the country share my concern for the well-being of the surviving members of the crew and my deep condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. And I know that Americans join me in expressing my deepest gratitude for the selfless determination they and thousands of men and women involved in this fight in states across the country demonstrate every day.