KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Family and military personnel filled Cody Hall to dedicate its tower lab to Maj. W. David Gray, August 8, here.
To commemorate Gray’s service in the Air Force, the 334th Training Squadron held a ribbon cutting to officially reopen the doors to the lab bearing the new name and an exhibit with pictures and awards Gray earned throughout his career.
Gray was killed in Afghanistan Aug. 8, 2012, during a suicide bomber attack.
“Maj. Gray's legacy of outstanding air traffic and tactical air control service to our nation and our allies, and his love and commitment for his family and friends are indeed the true beacon to guide us all,” said Lt. Col. Steven Mullins, 334th TRS commander. “We ensure that his ‘Finish Strong’ legacy will live on, for all to witness, as we diligently train, develop and inspire our newest command and control warriors.”
Heather Gray Blalock, wife of the late Maj. Gray, described him as both a leader and a kind spirit.
“His smile was contagious; a bright spot in a dark world,” said Blalock. “David loved so well and led so effectively, that those around him aren’t crippled by his absence, but instead equipped with the resiliency and strength he fostered. He was a hero.”
The 334th TRS has been embracing its heritage by memorializing fallen command and control Airmen and dedicating rooms in their name.
“Gen. Rand, our Air Force Global Strike commander, once stated that ‘Our history makes us smarter; our heritage makes us prouder,’” said Mullins. “Maj. Gray will be forever remembered within the same squadron in which he began his officer career in 2001.”
Blalock hoped the people in attendance would remember Gray for how he lived.
“We didn’t gather for this ceremony because David died as a hero,” said Blalock. “We are here because Maj. Walter David Gray lived as a hero; and we shall never forget.”