Plane crash victim's mother fights to change Air Force policy - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Plane crash victim's mother fights to change Air Force policy

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Major Ryan David and mother, Rina David-Claytor Major Ryan David and mother, Rina David-Claytor
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Tuesday, July 1 will mark two years since four men with the North Carolina Air National Guard died while fighting wildfires in South Dakota.

Lt. Col. Paul Mikeal of Mooresville, Master Sgt. Robert Cannon of Charlotte, Major Ryan David of Boone, and Major Joe McCormick of Belmont all died after their C-130 crashed. Several others survived.

WBTV spoke to Rina David-Claytor, Ryan's mother who says she and her husband are fighting to change an Air Force policy which only allows direct communication between the Air Force and next of kin.

"Include us. Include the parents," she said.

Since Ryan's July 1, 2012 death, David-Claytor claims the Air Force never communicated directly with her about memorial services and Ryan's remains. She says the information came from news outlets.

"The fact that you're getting it from the third person. You already lost your son. Getting that information from the third person was difficult enough," she said.

WBTV spoke with a member of the North Carolina Air National Guard who expressed sympathy, but cited Air Force Policy, that names Major Ryan David's wife as his next of kin. David-Claytor says she and her son's widow do not have a relationship and the policy should change to include parents.

"I was close with my son. Why am I in the dark," she said.

To read the Air Force Policy, click here.

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