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Wing Holds Memorial Service for Member Who Passed Away

Members of the 174th Fighter Wing, along with family and friends, gather at a memorial service at Hancock Field in Syracuse, NY on 2 May 2010. They were gathered to celebrate the life of US Air Force Staff Sgt. Linda Monelavongsy who passed away in a motorcycle accident on 21 April 2010. (US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James Faso/Released)

Members of the 174th Fighter Wing, along with family and friends, gather at a memorial service at Hancock Field in Syracuse, NY on 2 May 2010. They were gathered to celebrate the life of US Air Force Staff Sgt. Linda Monelavongsy who passed away in a motorcycle accident on 21 April 2010. (US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James Faso/Released)

US Air Force Lt. Col. Michael F. Adamitis presents a flag to US Air Force Staff Sgt. Preston J. Cox for the loss of his fiancee, US Air Force Staff Sgt. Linda Monelavongsy, at a memorial service at Hancock Field in Syracuse, NY on 2 May 2010. The service was to celebrate the life of US Air Force Staff Sgt. Linda Monelavongsy who passed away in a motorcycle accident on 21 April 2010. (US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James Faso/Released)

US Air Force Lt. Col. Michael F. Adamitis presents a flag to US Air Force Staff Sgt. Preston J. Cox for the loss of his fiancee, US Air Force Staff Sgt. Linda Monelavongsy, at a memorial service at Hancock Field in Syracuse, NY on 2 May 2010. The service was to celebrate the life of US Air Force Staff Sgt. Linda Monelavongsy who passed away in a motorcycle accident on 21 April 2010. (US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James Faso/Released)

Members of the 174th Fighter Wing Honor Guard fold a flag at a memorial service at Hancock Field in Syracuse, NY on 2 May 2010. The service was to celebrate the life of US Air Force Staff Sgt. Linda Monelavongsy who passed away in a motorcycle accident on 21 April 2010. (US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James Faso/Released)

Members of the 174th Fighter Wing Honor Guard fold a flag at a memorial service at Hancock Field in Syracuse, NY on 2 May 2010. The service was to celebrate the life of US Air Force Staff Sgt. Linda Monelavongsy who passed away in a motorcycle accident on 21 April 2010. (US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James Faso/Released)

US Air Force Staff Sgt. Preston J. Cox shovels dirt on a rose tree being planted outside of the communications building at Hancock Field in Syracuse, NY on 2 May 2010. The tree was being planted as a memorial for Cox's fiancee, US Air Force Staff Sgt. Linda Monelavongsy, who was a member of the 174th Fighter Wing Communications Flight.  Monelavongsy passed away in a motorcycle accident on 21 April 2010. (US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James Faso/Released)

US Air Force Staff Sgt. Preston J. Cox shovels dirt on a rose tree being planted outside of the communications building at Hancock Field in Syracuse, NY on 2 May 2010. The tree was being planted as a memorial for Cox's fiancee, US Air Force Staff Sgt. Linda Monelavongsy, who was a member of the 174th Fighter Wing Communications Flight. Monelavongsy passed away in a motorcycle accident on 21 April 2010. (US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James Faso/Released)

New York Air National Guard, 174th Fighter Wing Vice Wing Commander, US Air Force Col. Charles S. Dorsey offers his condolences to US Air Force Staff Sgt. Preston J. Cox for the loss of his fiance, US Air Force Staff Sgt. Linda Monelavongsy, at a memorial service at Hancock Field in Syracuse, NY on 2 May 2010. The service was to celebrate the life of US Air Force Staff Sgt. Linda Monelavongsy who passed away in a motorcycle accident on 21 April 2010. (US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James Faso/Released)

New York Air National Guard, 174th Fighter Wing Vice Wing Commander, US Air Force Col. Charles S. Dorsey offers his condolences to US Air Force Staff Sgt. Preston J. Cox for the loss of his fiance, US Air Force Staff Sgt. Linda Monelavongsy, at a memorial service at Hancock Field in Syracuse, NY on 2 May 2010. The service was to celebrate the life of US Air Force Staff Sgt. Linda Monelavongsy who passed away in a motorcycle accident on 21 April 2010. (US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James Faso/Released)

Mrs. Dale Gianetto plays taps while the 174th Fighter Wing Honor Guard firing party renders a salute at a memorial service at Hancock Field in Syracuse, NY on 2 May 2010. The service was to celebrate the life of US Air Force Staff Sgt. Linda Monelavongsy who passed away in a motorcycle accident on 21 April 2010. (US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James Faso/Released)

Mrs. Dale Gianetto plays taps while the 174th Fighter Wing Honor Guard firing party renders a salute at a memorial service at Hancock Field in Syracuse, NY on 2 May 2010. The service was to celebrate the life of US Air Force Staff Sgt. Linda Monelavongsy who passed away in a motorcycle accident on 21 April 2010. (US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James Faso/Released)

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.