Promise from UA graduate kept, after being killed in military ac - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Promise from UA graduate kept, after being killed in military action

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From: UA From: UA

A gift sent last summer to a staff member at the University of Alabama has now arrived.  

Captain Mark "Tyler" Voss was an online graduate student at UA. He took classes while serving in the air force stationed in Kyrgyzstan.

Voss was killed while piloting a plane on May 3rd. Before he died the captain sent a gift to an assistant at UA in Tuscaloosa.

Sarah Chamberlain worked as Dr. Stanley Jones' assistant. He corresponded with those taking online graduate aerospace engineering and mechanics classes.   

Chamberlain said Captain Tyler Voss and several other students enrolled in one particular course asked for an extension a time or two with a few lessons while they were serving in the Air Force.  

To show their appreciation, Voss asked for chamberlain's address to send a "small something."  

Chamberlain said, "I was able to learn really how much those guys and Tyler appreciated my flexibility, Dr. Jones' flexibility. It just definitely adds an emotional level to it that is um really hard to take it."

The gift never came. Voss died in an airplane crash nearly a year later.  

When his parents went through his personal belongings they found the American flag their son tried to send to Chamberlain.  The reason the package was not delivered is because it was to the department's physical address. Anything mailed via U.S. Postal Service has to go to a P.O. Box.

Voss's parents sent the flag along with a program from their son's funeral service to Chamberlain.

Aerospace engineering department head Dr. John Baker said, "I'm a father and I can't imagine what his father is going through. And I just think whatever we can do to honor his memory because he gave his life serving our country." 

While Baker said the flag belongs to Chamberlain, she hasn't decided whether she'll donate it to the university.

Voss was pursuing his master's in aerospace engineering. He would have graduated in about two years. Voss originally from Boerne, Texas and was 27 years old.

He was one of three Airmen from the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron who died May 3, near Chon-Aryk, Kyrgyzstan, in the crash of a KC-135 aircraft.

The other victims were Captain Victoria Pinckney, 27, hometown of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Tech. Sgt. Herman Mackey III, 30, hometown of Bakersfield, Calif.

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