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Sponsors: Senators Rand, Edwards, Plyler, Conder, Hobbs, Parnell, Ballantine, Simpson, Little, Carrington, Horton, Shaw, Blackmon, Gulley, Ledbetter, McKoy, Plexico, Jordan, Clark, Foxx, McDaniel, Page, Smith, Cochrane, Carpenter, Allran, Hoyle, Martin of Guilford, Cooper, Basnight, Kincaid, Sherron, Forrester, East, Hartsell, Martin of Pitt, Albertson, Warren, Perdue, Soles, Lucas, Odom, Davis, Webster, Kerr, Dannelly, Winner, Speed, and Ballance.



Referred to:  Rules Suspended; Passed 2nd and 3rd; Sent to House




July 26, 1995



Whereas, "The All Americans have served the course of freedom for more than 50 years, from the trenches of the Meuse-Argonne, through the four airborne assaults of World War II, to the great victories of Just Cause and Desert Storm"; and

Whereas, from the drop zones of Sicily and Normandy to the desert sands of Iraq, the troops of the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army have distinguished themselves as being the first to answer the call to go in harm's way; and

Whereas, many of these soldiers also fearlessly and courageously served our country during conflicts in Vietnam, Grenada, and Panama; and

Whereas, the dedication and commitment shown by the troops at Fort Bragg is duly recognized and appreciated; and

Whereas, the members of the 82nd Airborne Division undertake extremely rigorous training to become the most highly trained military force in the world; and

Whereas, on March 23, 1994, an F-16D Fighting Falcon collided in midair with a C-130 Hercules transport plane, and crashed into a C-141 Starlifter parked in front of the Green Ramp at Pope Air Force Base and exploded, thereby sending debris and burning fuel down upon paratroopers preparing for airborne operations; and

Whereas, this tragic accident left more than more 100 soldiers from several units injured, and eventually claimed the lives of 24 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division; and

Whereas, the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country were:

CPT Christopher D. Dunaway, 26, of Arkadelphia, Arkansas;

CPT Kenneth J. Golla, 29, of Champaign, Illinois;

SSG Alexander P. Bolz, 23, of Karlsruhe, Germany;

SSG Daniel Camargo, 31, of Colorado Springs, Colorado;

SSG Charles W. Elliott, 27, of Hempstead, New York;

SSG Mark G. Gibson, 29, of Eagle River, Arkansas;

SSG James C. Howard, 27, of San Antonio, Texas;

SSG Alan D. Miller, 30, of Stockbridge, Georgia;

SSG Harry L. Momoa, Jr., 26, of Waianae, Hawaii;

SSG Daniel E. Price, 25, of Leesburg, Georgia;

SSG Waddington Sanchez, 39, of Paterson, New Jersey;

SGT Gustavo E. Gallardo, 19, of San Diego, California;

SGT Gregory D. Nunes, 23, of Centerburg, Ohio;

SGT Vincent S. Strayhorn, 28, of Pollocksville, North Carolina;

SGT James M. Walters, Jr., 25, of National City, California;

SPC Bee Jay Cearley, 27, of Bacliff, Texas;

SPC Sean M. Dixon, 20, of Montrose, Colorado;

SPC Paul B. Finnegan, 20, of Bozeman, Montana;

SPC Andrew J. Jones, 19, of Vallejo, California;

SPC Martin Lumbert, 22, of Burt, Michigan;

SPC Matthew J. Zegan, 21, of Toms River, New Jersey;

PFC Tommy J. Caldwell, 22, of Senath, Missouri;

PFC Mark E. Fritsch, 19, of Honesdale, Pennsylvania; and

PFC Philip J. Harvey, 20, of Lorain, Ohio; and

Whereas, the 24 deaths that occurred from the crash on March 23, 1994, constituted the worst single-day loss in the history of the 82nd Airborne Division since Operation Market-Garden; and

Whereas, the fallen paratroopers taking part in training exercises to better prepare themselves to protect and defend our country have earned the highest level of appreciation and respect of the citizens of this State and of this nation for putting the interests of our country so far above their personal interests; and

Whereas, many soldiers heroically shielded their comrades from the inferno that followed the collision, thereby sacrificing their own lives; and

Whereas, these brave soldiers left behind spouses, children, parents, and other family members and friends; and

Whereas, the communities surrounding Fort Bragg committed time, energy, and resources to help alleviate the pain caused by the accident, and showed kindness and expressed sympathy to those families of the deceased and to the families with injured loved ones; and

Whereas, we recognize the special debt of gratitude all Americans owe to those who sacrificed their freedom in the service of our country, and we reaffirm our commitment to their memories and to their families; and

Whereas, "today, as they have for 50 years, the troopers who wear the red, white, and blue patch of the airborne division continue to form the cutting edge of the nation's strategic combat force"; and

Whereas, "acknowledged and respected, the men and women of the 82nd Airborne Division stand ready, as always, to demonstrate they are the best fighting soldiers in the world";

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring:

Section 1.  The General Assembly honors the 82nd Airborne Division for its contributions to the United States military, and for the countless other ways that the division benefits our communities and our country.

Sec. 2.  The General Assembly expresses its deep sorrow and sympathy to the families of the paratroopers who died as a result of the midair plane collision on March 23, 1994.  The General Assembly further commemorates those soldiers injured in the collision and their families.

Sec. 3.  The Secretary of State shall transmit certified copies of this resolution to the Commanding Officers at Pope Air Force Base and Fort Bragg and to the families of the soldiers mentioned in this resolution.

Sec. 4.  This resolution is effective upon ratification.