02/07/07 — Memorial service planned for Wright

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Memorial service planned for Wright

By Lee Williams
Published in News on February 7, 2007 1:56 PM

Barney Mashburn has a few choice words to say to the man accused of fatally stabbing his friend during a confrontation late Sunday.

But for now, he said, he will hold his tongue.

He knows those words will do little to honor the memory of Vincent C. Wright, a master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, who, he said, stood for honor, respect and integrity.

For now, he and Wright's other friends and family will remember the good times as they prepare for the memorial service to honor the airman, which is scheduled for this weekend.

"Vinny was an awesome individual," said Mashburn, a longtime friend and bowling buddy of about 10 years. "He would do just about anything for anybody."

Wright, a 43-year-old Pikeville resident, was allegedly stabbed by his sister's boyfriend, Jamal Wilson, who is also 43, during a confrontation that erupted over a missing $20 bill.

The incident unfolded when Wright went to his sister, Andrea Wright's home, after he was called about a family dispute, Wayne County Sheriff's Capt. George Raecher said.

Wilson, Ms. Wright's boyfriend, allegedly assaulted Vincent Wright's 41-year-old brother, Dwayne Wright, over an allegation $20 had been stolen. A confrontation between Vincent Wright and Wilson later ensued and Wright was stabbed once in the back, piercing him in the heart, officials said.

Deputies and emergency crews responded to 105 Kendall Lane about 11:30 p.m. Sunday and found Wright unresponsive.

Wilson, who was still at the scene when deputies arrived, was taken into custody and charged with murder.

Meanwhile, EMS transported Vincent Wright to Wayne Memorial Hospital where he was later pronounced dead Monday.

Mashburn said he was stunned when he learned what happened to his good friend, whom he called Vinny.

"I was speechless," he said.

Vincent Wright was assigned to the 4th Component Maintenance Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. He had more than 21 years of military service. He had a wife, Angela, and three daughters.

Col. Steve Kwast, 4th Fighter Wing commander, expressed sadness over the news.

"We mourn the loss with our 4th Fighter Wing team and extend our deepest condolences to the member's family and friends," Kwast said.

Wright's commander, Major Rudy Cardona said the airman was a valuable member of the squadron.

"Aside from his key duties in supporting the largest F-15 wing in the Air Force, he was active in his squadron and his community," Cardona said. "He was president of the Wayne County Bowling Congress Youth Association, a high school test proctor and tutored fifth-grade math students. He was an outstanding husband, father and a friend to everyone."

Mashburn said he will always remember Vinny as a stand-up guy, who loved bowling, the Miami Dolphins and helping children.

"He worked a lot with the kids -- the youth bowlers -- and he would do anything for the kids," Mashburn said. "As far as Vinny was concerned, he was all about the kids whether they were his or not."

Without fail, Vinny would show up every week with his Miami Dolphins bowling ball in tow and bowl with the Tuesday Night Bowling League, but now that night will take on a somber tune.

"It will be a different place now that he is gone," Mashburn said.

A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m. in the base chapel.