Wing Holds Memorial Service for Member Who Passed Away
By Lt Greta D Lewis, 174th Fighter Wing
/ Published May 05, 2010
Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, SYRACUSE, NY -- A memorial service was held May 2, 2010 for a 174th Fighter Wing member who lost her life in a motorcycle accident on April 20, 2010 during Bike Week in Corolla, N.C.
Lt Col Mike Adamitis, commander of the 174th Communications Flight, opened the memorial service of Staff Sgt Linda Monelavongsy, on behalf of SSgt Preston Cox and family, by thanking everyone for attending. 174th Chaplain (Major) Douglas Cunningham followed with a prayer and some inspirational remarks.
Two members of the 174th Honor Guard folded a U.S. flag, which Adamitis presented to Cox, Monelavongsy's fiance. During the service, there was a rendering of Taps, as well as a 21-gun salute, and a rose tree was planted in her honor outside the new 174th Communications Flight building.
Monelavongsy was a passenger on the back of SSgt Preston Cox's bike. They, along with other 174th Fighter Wing members, were attending the Outer Banks Bike Week, an annual event that runs from Nagshead, NC to Norfolk, VA.
As they were cruising down Route 12, a 2-lane asphalt road in Corolla, North Carolina, Cox felt the front wheel of his bike pulling. As he tried to straighten the bike, he veered into the path of an oncoming vehicle and unfortunately, Monelavongsy lost her life. Cox suffered a broken pelvis.
Monelavongsy was a telephone maintenance technician who was very self-motivated, open to learning new things and did her job with no complaints. Supervisor MSgt Calvin Reynolds recalled, "She was one to take life as it comes. She was very team-oriented and it was always a joy to work with her."
In pensive thought, SSgt Nicolas DeTota said, "No one wakes up saying, 'I'm going to be in an accident today.'" When asked about his friend and co-worker, he said she was very bright, intelligent and knew her duty. "If she was out on a job, you knew it was going to get done right."
Monelavongsy had been with the unit for less than two years, but was presented with the Air Force Achievement Medal for the significant contributions she made in the short time she had been here.
Monelavongsy was a student at Onondaga Community College pursuing a degree in education. She had recently gotten engaged to Cox.