by Master Sgt. Michelle Duchesne
940th Force Support Squadron
5/9/2013 - BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Beale Air Force Base will bring home another fallen hero May 11.
Staff Sgt. Richard Dickson, Rancho Cordova, Calif., was one of four
Airmen who perished when their MC-12 aircraft went down in Afghanistan,
Just a year ago, Airmen lined the streets at Beale to render final
respects to Army Specialist Chase Marta. It's a procession all hoped
would never have to be repeated.
This time last year, the 940th Wing Force Support Squadron had two
members deployed to the Dover Port Mortuary, Del., the place where all
fallen warriors are brought before returning home.
Sustainment Flight Airmen are charged with preparing fallen warriors for
their final journey. Part of that training at the port mortuary
involves treating the fallen warriors with the utmost respect from the
moment they arrive to the moment they leave. It takes diligence and
precision to ensure absolutely every detail is perfect, with the
ultimate goal to get the fallen warrior home as soon as possible to
waiting family members.
It's about honor, dignity, respect for the fallen and their families.
Well-trained military members at the Port Mortuary, perhaps even a
reservist from Beale, have readied Dickson for his final journey home.
And as he leaves Dover, everyone will line the tarmac there to send him
off with a salute.
Taking care of our fallen and the escorts who come to take them back
home is the hardest, but most fulfilling and special job for members of
the sustainment flight.
And as the white plane lands at Beale tomorrow, the streets will once
again be lined with hundreds of Airmen, waiting to render their salute
in a final show of respect.
The nation owes Dickson and his family a debt of gratitude for his ultimate sacrifice.