Military Plane Crash Over Wildfires Reminds Us Danger Is Everywhere

National Guard plane wildfire
C-130s like this fight the wildfires
A military plane that crashed in South Dakota on Sunday night is yet another tragic tale of the wildfires that have been raging in the nation's heartland. An Air National Guard unit out of North Carolina had sent several planes in to help fight the flames, only to have the C-130 disappear from radar during its second run of the day.

Right now the military will say only that three crewmembers were rescued and taken to a hospital for treatment, but they're reportedly trying to track down families before revealing anymore. Other reports put an even more horrifying light on the crash. If claims that there were six crewmembers on that crashed plane are true, as many as three members of the Air National Guard may have died in the line of duty.

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I can't help noting that whoever was on that plane was there because they volunteered to serve our country. And right here, on American soil, we know servicemembers were hurt, and possibly much worse.

I can't think of a reminder any more heartbreaking of what it means to serve this country. 

We don't think often enough about the risks to our soldiers, our sailors, our airmen when they're here in America. There's a comfort, for lack of a better word, with having our men and women stateside. How many times have you heard that a friend's spouse, cousin, brother, is home from deployment and breathed a sigh of relief. Overseas = scary. Deployed = dangerous.

If only it were that simple.

The truth is, some of the missions of our military service people right here in America are dangerous too. The various units of the National Guard, in particular, are called in for the kind of domestic situations that would make your civilian hair curl.

These members of the N.C. Air National Guard 145th Airlift Wing were dropping fire retardant over a wildfire. Not something you'd want to do? That's why their service is all the more valuable; they put themselves in harm's way for love of this country and its people.

My thoughts are with the families of these brave members of our military and with the survivors. I thank them for their service.

How about you? What would you like to say to these people today?

 

Image via The National Guard/Flickr

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