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Wassom's Road

Dan Sr. and Pam Wassom stand at the newly designated “MSgt. Dan Wassom Road” at Little Rock AFB, Ark., Dec. 6. The road was named in honor of their son, Master Sgt. Daniel R. Wassom II, or “Bud” as he was called by family and friends. Wassom, a loadmaster evaluator with the 189th Airlift Wing at Little Rock, died April 27 while trying to protect his daughter from a tornado that struck their home in Vilonia, Ark. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ian Caple/Released)

Dan Sr. and Pam Wassom stand at the newly designated “MSgt. Dan Wassom Road” at Little Rock AFB, Ark., Dec. 6. The road was named in honor of their son, Master Sgt. Daniel R. Wassom II, or “Bud” as he was called by family and friends. Wassom, a loadmaster evaluator with the 189th Airlift Wing at Little Rock, died April 27 while trying to protect his daughter from a tornado that struck their home in Vilonia, Ark. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ian Caple/Released)

On Dec. 6, a Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., Airman and his family were honored for their sacrifice and courage. Many of you have heard the story of Master Sgt. Dan Wassom II of the 189th Airlift Wing and his actions during the tornado that struck Vilonia, Ark., earlier this year (“Missing Dan,” Summer 2014 issue of Torch, cover story).

Wassom displayed the highest duty to his family and paid the ultimate price to protect his 5-year-old daughter during the tornado. He has been posthumously awarded the Airman’s Medal. The Airman’s Medal is awarded for heroic action at voluntary risk of life. Additionally, the section of road in front of the Air National Guard campus on Little Rock had been renamed “MSgt. Dan Wassom Road.”

The Director of the Air National Guard, Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke III, presented the Airman’s Medal to Wassom’s widow, Suzanne, at the Dec. 6 ceremony in Hangar 207. (She was also given her husband’s Meritorious Service Medal. Moreover, the governor of Arkansas presented her with the Arkansas Distinguished Service Medal, which also was awarded to Dan.)

Sergeant Wassom has truly shown us what it means to be a hero.

Col. Patrick J. Rhatigan
19th Airlift Wing commander
Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.