The following is a statement from the family of Maj. Joseph McCormick, one of the four members of the 145th Airlift Wing National Guard unit, killed in a plane crash while fighting a wildfire in South Dakota:
"We, the family and friends of Major Joseph McCormick, would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. There are no words to express how much we miss Joe already. He was a loving husband, a devoted father to four beautiful children and a true hero to his country.
We find comfort in knowing that he died doing what he loved and that he was serving and protecting others. In this time of grieving and loss, we take comfort in our faith in God and know that he is watching over Joe right now.
We have lost a husband, father, son, brother, uncle, a friend and a patriot to our nation. Our hearts go out to other families also affected by this tragedy as well.