07/27/09 — Memorial service set for Tuesday

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Memorial service set for Tuesday

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on July 27, 2009 2:23 PM

Tears will likely be shed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base's Heritage Park Tuesday as the 4th Fighter Wing is set to formally honor its two airmen who fell in Afghanistan last week.

Hundreds of family members, friends and comrades of 336th Fighter Squadron Capt. Thomas J. Gramith and Capt. Mark R. McDowell are expected to be in attendance for the memorial service, which will feature, among other things, an F-15E flyover.

The service, scheduled for 9 a.m., is open to anyone with access to the base, 4th officials said - airmen, their families, members of the military affairs community and other Department of Defense card holders.

Gramith and McDowell were killed early July 18 in the vicinity of the country's Ghazni Province when their Strike Eagle went down. Officials have not yet released the cause of the crash.

Since their death, the two young officers have been mourned on and off the base.

Goldsboro and Wayne County officials have honored them with a moment of silence, flags have been flying at half staff and those left behind when the 336th left for war gathered on the Seymour Johnson flight line Friday to dedicate a new F-15E that is currently en route to Bagram Air Base.