Okla. Air National Guard honors fallen officer from Colorado Springs

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Updated: 2/11/2013 10:00 am Published: 2/09/2013 5:21 pm

Dozens of airmen from across the country joined together to walk in a memorial hike in downtown Tulsa along Riverside Drive to honor fallen officer Major David Gray. 

Gray was killed six months ago in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province when a suicide bomber attacked his convoy where he was providing security. 

“It was hard at first but at the same time I had some peace because David believed in heaven and I know he is there and that we will be ok,” said his widow, Heather Gray.

Major Gray left behind three young children, 8-year-old Nyah, 6-year-old Garrett, and 4-year-old Ava. 

"I kept our children home from memorial hike because of the cold and wet weather,” said Gray. 

She flew to Tulsa to celebrate her husband’s life from Colorado Springs, that is where their family lives.  

The country’s Tactical Air Control Party is a smaller group of airmen that includes members from Tulsa’s Oklahoma Air National Guard’s 138th Fighter Wing.  

The TACP members here organized the memorial hike even though most of them did not even know Major Gray, but they knew this would be meaningful to his family. 

“We are such a small career but this is a brotherhood,” said Master Sgt. David K. Wilburn, who was Major Gray’s best friend.  “I knew him for more than 20 years.  I went to their wedding.  I gave him his first salute.”

Master Sgt. Wilburn had not seen Heather since the funeral at Arlington National Cemetery.  They walked together for the 10-mile hike. 

Proceeds from the hike go to the non-profit TACP Association to help support the families of fallen TACP Airmen. Registered participants received a T-shirt commemorating the event. 

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