Friends and servicemen honor legacy of airman killed in tragic accident

U.S. & World

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A servant, a father, a friend. That’s how friends and fellow airmen are describing Tech Sergeant Rashad Wilson.

“It sometimes sounds kind cliché, but he would give you the shirt off his back,” said Lieutenant Colonel Brian Celatka, Force Support Commander for the 118th Wing of the Tennessee Air National Guard.

The 40-year-old Wilson was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

“I was so numb, because I just couldn’t believe that someone of that caliber and that magnitude was taken away from us,” said Jermaine Dunlap, a long-time friend and Wilson’s fraternity brother in the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. “He had so much life, so much more that he wanted to do.”

Wilson was known as a man of service, not just to his country, but to his community, his family, and friends.

“That man would be leading Airmen and they didn’t even know he was doing it because he did it in an empathetic way, but he did it in a firm way,” said Lt. Col. Celatka.

Tech Sgt. Wilson was a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, and a rising star in the 118th Wing of the Tennessee Air National Guard. He recently made Air Force history as the first in a US Air Force Support Squadron to complete a cold-water operations course.

“He was an unbelievable person. A brother. A friend. A father. A son. I mean he was the true mark of what anybody would want their friend or brother or son to be,” said Dunlap. “The beautiful thing is he lived such a beautiful, great, awesome life, that we can take the little jewels that he left, and we can run with it.”

Wilson’s remains will return to Nashville on Tuesday.

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