HUDSON, N.H. (CBS) – The town of Hudson, New Hampshire is mourning the loss of two heroes in less than one week.
U.S. Air Force Capt. Ryan Phaneuf, 30, was one of two officers killed when their surveillance plane crashed in Afghanistan Monday. He was just 30 years old and was a 2007 graduate of Alvirne High School.READ MORE: UMass Amherst Brings Back Football Tailgate With COVID Restrictions
“The last time I saw him and talked to him, he was really enjoying flying airplanes. He just thought that was the neatest thing,” Ret. Col. Kevin Grady, the former Air Force Junior ROTC Program Commander at Alvirne, told WBZ-TV Thursday.
Phaneuf’s death comes four days after another Alvine High Graduate, 24-year-old Katie Thyne, was killed in the line of duty while working as a police officer in Newport News, Virginia. Thyne graduated from Alvine in 2013 and then joined the U.S. Navy.READ MORE: To Do List: Oktoberfest, Live Music, Fireworks, And Family Fun
“They really excelled in what they did. It’s not easy to become an Air Force pilot and Katie was also a veteran besides being a police officer. She had a very successful career herself, although it was short. And to say that we are producing these people that go out and contribute to these communities makes us all proud,” said Superintendent of Schools Larry Russell.
“Our school community is very saddened by the recent deaths of two past graduates, they will remain a beacon for our current students to follow your dreams, live a life of service and we commend their service and sacrifice,” Alvirne High School principal Steve Beals said in a statement.MORE NEWS: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments
Dozens of people came out to the front of the school Thursday afternoon to view a procession for Officer Thyne. A candlelight vigil will be held in her honor at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Alvirne’s football field. The principal corrected an earlier report that the procession was for Capt. Phaneuf.