Fitzgerald Airman killed in Afghanistan - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fitzgerald Airman killed in Afghanistan

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

FITZGERALD, GA (WALB) –A Fitzgerald family is mourning the death of a military family member tonight.

23 year old Michael Buras, a Senior Airman with Airforce was killed in a possible explosion yesterday.

It's the type of news no one is prepared for. "His dad called me yesterday morning from California and told me that Michael was gone," said his aunt Terri Sumner.

"They always say God takes the good ones first," said his grandmother Olive Butrica.

Family members found out Tuesday that 23-year old Michael Buras was killed in Afghanistan. He was traveling down the road in a convoy, when something hit his truck. "I understand there were only three in the truck, the other two were injured but unfortunately Mike didn't make it," said his grandmother.

Michael worked as a demolition specialist and worked on dismantling bombs. His family members say they realized the danger of his career but supported him 100 percent. "We were a little worried, but that's what he wanted to do," said his grandmother.

Family members last saw Michael in July, right before he left for Afghanistan for the third time. "When I talked to him, he was actually taxing down the runway and he said I'm leaving and that's the last time I said goodbye," said his grandmother.

But its not the first time he's been in an accident overseas. During his last tour he was injured in an explosion and awarded a purple heart.

But that didn't stop Michael from going back, even though family members wish it did. "I'm proud of him but I don't think they should have ever sent him back after he got wounded," said his grandfather Irv Butrica.

Michael's unexpected and sudden loss is touching the community too.Today Coach Vaughn made an emotional announcement in honor of Michael over the intercom at Fitzgerald high school. Something he hoped would touch the lives of others. "I made that step to recognize him and what he did, I never had the chance to do so without question I respect that more than anything," he said.

Just as Michael touched his own.

Michael Buras was stationed in Las Vegas, and left behind a one year old daughter.

His mother and father are in the process of bringing his body back to Fitzgerald, where they plan to have a ceremony in his honor.

Family members say Airman Buras will likely be buried in Atlanta.

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