156th Airlift Wing Welcomes Home Fallen Airmen

The 156th Airlift Wing held a Dignified Arrival here for eight of the nine fallen Airmen who perished in a WC-130 Hercules crash in Georgia earlier this month.

A Dignified Arrival is a solemn event whereby the remains of fallen service members are returned to their family.

Maj. José “JR” Román, an instructor and evaluation pilot, Maj. Carlos “Dulzura” Pérez-Serra, a master navigator and chief of weapons and tactics evaluator, Senior Master Sgt. Jan A. Paravisini-Ruiz, a maintenance management analyst, Master Sgt. Mario “Sulli” Braña, a flight engineer, Master Sgt. Eric “Quillo” Circuns, a senior evaluator loadmaster, Senior Master Sgt. Victor “Vitin” Colón, an aircrew flight equipment craftsman, Master Sgt. Jean M. “Audi” Audiffred Rivera, an aircraft maintenance craftsman and flying crew chief, and Senior Airman Roberto Espada, an aircrew flight equipment journeyman, were returned to Puerto Rico with military honors.

Col. Raymond Figueroa, commander of the 156th Airlift Wing, said the Dignified Arrival honored their service and sacrifice to their nation and their island.

“While our military traditions show our brothers the respect they deserve, no ceremony will ever heal the wounds of losing these beloved husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, nephews, cousins and friends,” Figueroa said. “These Airmen are now back on their native land.”

He added, “Son Boricua, son Bucaneros, they will be forever in our memories.”

Which is translated to mean “they are Puerto Ricans, they are Buccaneers, they will be forever in our memories.”

First Lt. David “Lani” Albandoz, a co-pilot, will return to Alabama with military honors.

All nine will be laid to rest in the coming days.

Story by Staff Sgt. Julio Olivencia Jr
156th Airlift Wing

Image for 156 Aurborne Wing

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