A deceased US Air Force pilot is being brought home to New Hampshire, following a deadly crash in Afghanistan last month.
Capt. Ryan Phaneuf was killed when his plane went down in January, putting an end to an Air Force career he dreamed of since his high school days.
A Nashua resident, Phaneuf’s return was observed by family members and strangers alike, who took time to pay respects to the captain.
“I just felt compelled to come out here, and my husband and I have four boys between us, and this could be us some day,” local Carol Tourangeau told WMUR. “Our children aren’t in the military yet, but this guy was fighting for us and our freedom.”
For others, it was more personal.
“This is one of my people,” said Neal Crossland, a 33-year Air Force veteran. “It seems like we’ve lost too many of them, and I just want to take the time to pause and pay my respects to a fellow fallen warrior.”
Phaneuf was the pilot of the small subsonic jet aircraft that went down over Afghanistan in January, causing much speculation as to what exactly caused the plane to crash. His co-pilot was also killed.
Initially found by the Taliban, the crash site was eventually secured by special operations troops.
Phaneuf’s body will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
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