Hometown Hero: Major Ryan David Died Serving His Country
Major Ryan David's C130 went down in South Dakota while trying to put out a wild fire
Major Ryan David's C130 went down in South Dakota while trying to put out a wild fire Video by kmtv.comvideo
Bellevue, NE -- The family of an airman from Bellevue remember Major Ryan David. Those who loved him say he always wanted to join the military.
He survived the war in Iraq, but died trying to protect people here in the Midwest from those awful forest fires when a C-130 went down in the Black Hills on Sunday.
"He's not only is our hero but he's a hometown hero," said his cousin Felicia Nofuente.
Major Ryan David is a hero to his family - a Kuya or big brother. Nofuente added, "We all knew that deep down inside he did have a super hero cape under his uniform because he was always there always ready and willing to serve."
Major David served six deployments with the Air Force. "They call him 'Meat Wad' in the military. He's a big dude you know. He's a small big guy, but he's got such a teddy bear heart," said his Aunt Relly Ong.
The C-130 Navigator had an infectious laugh. Major David adored the Huskers and Washington Redskins. He played football at Bellevue East High School. His coach, Jerry Lovell said Ryan was a good kid who always wanted to serve his country. "You don't realize the sacrifice that a lot of these families are making when you send your people out to fight fired and send em off into foreign countries to keep is safe that don't get a lot of pat on the back reward."
Perhaps his greatest legacy is his son and a family who he was devoted to. "I won't get that phone call saying 'every thing's going to be okay' from my big brother. It's just hard to know we're not going to hear his voice anymore," said his younger cousin Felicia.
While the nation celebrates Independence Day, Major David's family said his death is a good reminder to honor our soldiers past, present and future.
"He fought not only for our small state of Nebraska but he fought for everything that we all believe in," Felicia added.
"These kids they don't get nothing but they give their life and they do it for us. The world will be celebrating and Ryan will be looking down and be saying I was one of those. He's one of those people in the fireworks. He'll be celebrating how well he did," Relly added.
Ryan leaves behind his wife and 10-month old son, Rob. His family said, "Ryan was our hero. He was a beautiful person inside and out. He had the best personality and was very talented. We will miss a son, a brother "Kuya" and a wonderful daddy to his son "Rob". We love you very much."
Services for Major Ryan David have yet to be set.
Reported By: Liz Dorland, firstname.lastname@example.org