Wife remembers husband killed in Security Aviation crash
Maddox Burts loved his time in Alaska. "He had never been happier as he was these last couple years working and doing the things that he was doing, and I'm grateful that he got to experience that," said his wife, Mary Peterson Burts.
Maddox came to Alaska about a year ago from Fairhope, Alabama, near Mobile, to work part of the year as a paramedic for Medevac Alaska.
"Being able to combine emergency medicine and helping people and being in a place like Alaska that has such beautiful wildlife and landscape made him incredibly happy," Mary said as she recalled memories of her husband.
Burts is one of two Medevac crewmembers, along with nurse Rob Cartner, who died in Friday night's plane crash near Cooper Landing. Pilot Glen Morthorpe also died when the flight that had been contracted from Security Aviation crashed on its way from Anchorage to Seward.
Dozens of people, including families of the victims, turned out at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport late Wednesday night as the U.S. Honor Flag arrived. It recognizes first responders and American troops killed in the line of duty.
Anchorage native Chris Heisler came up with the idea for the flag in July 2001. He used it to honor Anchorage police officer Justin Wollam who died in a car crash while on the job.
"It's about honor. Men and women every single day, without hesitation, who answer the call," Heisler said. "When you call 911, no one's going to ask you what color you are, what your ethnicity is, what your religion is — they're just going to come and help you."
The same flag has taken part in nearly 1,000 ceremonies around the country.
"These firefighters who are here every single day are answering the call no matter what," Heisler said. "Our police officers, our soldiers, just remember these folks and take care of them."
Of course, Maddox's family will always remember him.
"I'm just grateful we all got a chance to love him while he was here," Mary said.
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