An airman with the Arkansas Air National Guard was killed in ferocious tornadoes that swept through the state Sunday, the chief of the National Guard Bureau announced on social media.
Master Sgt. Daniel Wassom served in the 189th Airlift Wing for 12 years as a loadmaster.
At least 16 people were killed in Sunday’s tornadoes, including 10 in the community of Vilonia, north of Little Rock, according to USA Today.
Army Gen. Frank Grass tweeted at 6:24 p.m. on Monday, “Sad day: Airman killed in #tornado that hurt so many families #NationalGuard helping in #Arkansas.”
Grass linked to a message to guardsmen posted on his Facebook page.
“I am deeply saddened that an Arkansas National Guard member is among those killed in Vilonia, where dozens of ?#?NationalGuard members’ homes were damaged or destroyed and family members were injured or hospitalized. Even as we tend to our own, The National Guard is providing search and rescue, medical evacuation, UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter low level aerial search, fresh water delivery and traffic control. #NationalGuard members checked in with their commanders and on each other — neighbor-to-neighbor — immediately after the storm and reported to duty. Your service to your state and our nation is breathtaking. You and everyone affected are in our thoughts and prayers. The National Guard lives and works in the communities we serve.”
“Additionally, dozens of Guard members’ homes were damaged or destroyed, and an unconfirmed number of family members were injured or hospitalized,” the news release said.
About 60 members of the Arkansas Air National Guard, along with 24 vehicles, are currently helping local authorities with search and rescue efforts, traffic control and delivering water to those in need, the news release said.