BLOWING ROCK, N.C. — The family of a fallen service member from Blowing Rock received a special gift from a national group on Veterans Day.
Tunnel to Towers Foundation announced on Thursday, Nov. 11, it paid, in-full, the mortgages on the homes of 35 Gold Star families across the country, with seven families being from North Carolina.
N.C. Air National Guard Maj. Ryan Scott David's family was part of the announcement.
David, 35, was killed in action on July 1, 2012, while fighting the White Draw Fire near Edgemont, South Dakota. He was a member of the N.C. Air National Guard 145th Airlift Wing in Charlotte and had served more than 10 years active duty with the US Air Force. He deployed several times in support of Operation Iraq Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn. The major served as an instructor navigator and worked in tactics.
He also received several accolades during his service:
- Navy and the Air Force Commendation Medals
- Four Air Medals for meritorious aerial achievements flying over 80 combat deployment
- Air Force Achievement Medal
“This Veterans Day, we’re honoring the inspiring Americans who sprang into action to take the fight to our enemies and protect our homeland in the wake of September 11th. We’re eternally grateful to the fallen heroes of the Global War on Terror and their families who live every day with the reminder of the sacrifice of their loved one. As a small thank you to the Davis, Goodman, Smith, Bohle, Adams, Kundrat and David families, we’re paying off their mortgages, ensuring they’ll always have a place to call home,” Tunnel to Towers CEO and Chairman Frank Siller said in an emailed statement.
Below are the North Carolina families that received the gift from the foundation:
- U.S. Army Specialist Steven Alexander Davis (Fayetteville, NC)
- U.S. Army Master Sergeant Nathan Lee Goodman (Holly Springs, NC)
- U.S. Army First Lieutenant Justin Shawnsonte Smith (Kenly, NC)
- U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Bradley Scott Bohle (Broadway, NC)
- U.S. Army Sergeant Roger Leeroy Adams Jr. (Wilmington, NC)
- U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant William (Billy) Joseph Kundrat (Holly Ridge, NC)
- N.C. Air National Guard Major Ryan Scott David (Blowing Rock, NC)
No matter when a service member lost their life, the agency is ready to help.
"We have some we have lost a lot of people since 9/11," Andrew McClure, Tunnel to Towers national community engagement coordinator, told WCNC Charlotte. " We're not afraid to go back and, you know, take care of families that are... I don't wanna say they were overlooked, but they're still qualified for the program, regardless of when they lost their life."
The announcement was made during the Foundation’s Veterans Day name-reading ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
The event is honored the 7,070 military personnel who died in America’s military response to 9/11.
A live stream of the 8-hour ceremony is available on the Tunnel to Towers Facebook page.
People can learn more about how to get involved with the foundation by visiting the Tunnel to Towers website.