Delmarva honors fallen American hero
BERLIN, Md. – Dozens of people lined Route 113 in Berlin on Tuesday, flags in hand, paying their respects to Lieutenant Colonel Paul Voss. The 46-year old is one of the United States Air Force Pilots who died in a plane crash in Afghanistan about two weeks ago.
“He is one of our brothers and we all stick together. That’s a saying in the military. We’re all for one and one for all,” says Tom Wengert with American Legion Post #166.
Voss isn’t from Delmarva but locals say that doesn’t matter. They heard the call and answered it.
“I got a phone call this past weekend asking if we could get some people from the different Legions in the area to line Route 113 as he passes through from Dover to his hometown in Virginia,” says Wengert.
First responders, veterans and cadets were among those who braved the rain to salute his escort: a small price to pay for Voss’ sacrifice. “We’ve been wet before. There’s not a problem with the weather. Come rain or shine, we intended to be here once we heard about his passing here on Route 113,” says Bob Gilmore with Vietnam Veterans of America Ocean City Chapter 1091.
“To us, he is a hometown hero. He gave his life so we can have freedom so we thought we would come out here and show our respect to him and our gratitude for everything he gave,” says Wengert.
Voss is one of two Air Force pilots killed in that crash. The other is 30-year old Captain Ryan Phaneuf of New Hampshire. The cause of the crash is still under investigation. Right now, military officials say there’s no reason to believe the aircraft was shot down.
Other agencies also helped honor LTC Voss on Tuesday including Delaware State Police, Federalsburg Police, Snow Hill Volunteer Fire Company, Ocean City Fire Department, Ocean Pines, Maryland State Police, Tasley Volunteer Fire Company, Onancock Volunteer Fire Department and Virginia State Police.