One of the hadrest hit places in Arkansas during the violent storm this week was in the city of Vilonia. As a tornado ripped through the city destroying homes, one man – Dan Wassom, an airman with the Arkansas Air National Guard – did everything he could to protect the life of his 5 year old daughter:
Master Sgt. Dan “Bud” Wassom II’s last action in this life was using his body to shield his 5-year-old daughter Lorelai as a tornado demolished his house on Sunday, said his mother, Pamela Wassom.
At the hospital, Lorelai told anyone who would listen that her father had saved her life, Pamela said.
“Lorelai kept telling the emergency room people, she said, ‘My daddy saved me; the house exploded and my daddy saved me; he’s a hero,’” Pamela said. “And he is. He’s a true hero.”
His wife Suzanne is also a hero, said her sister, Teresa Cole. Suzanne shielded their 7-year-old daughter, Sydney, when the tornado tore through Vilonia, Ark., north of Little Rock. Afterward, she moved both daughters to safety and helped a little boy who lived across the street.
Dan served in the Arkansas Air National Guard’s 189th Airlift Wing for 12 years as a loadmaster. He had a college degree and could have trained to be a pilot, but he liked being a loadmaster too much, his mother told Air Force Times in a May 1 interview.
“We’re a military family,” she said. “His father is retired Air Force. His grandfather was in the Navy. He joined right after 9/11. That boy loved his country. He was patriotic. He even volunteered to go to Kuwait a couple years ago, and he said if it hadn’t been for the wife and kids, he would even have stayed longer.”
via Air Force Times
His father misses his heroic son:
“He was truly my hero and I’m going to miss him greatly,” said Wassom’s father, Daniel Ray Wassom, Sr., 53. “He was a great dad and a great son.”