MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Airmen, family and friends gathered at the weapons load training hangar to honor the life of Staff. Sgt. Sara Toy and say their final goodbyes during a memorial service March 1.
Toy was a weapons team chief with the 74th Fighter Squadron Aircraft Maintenance Unit who passed away Feb. 25 in a motor vehicle accident.
The Virginia native graduated from high school in 2012 and shortly after enlisted in the Air Force as an aircraft armament systems apprentice.
Throughout the memorial, Toy’s chain of command reflected on her service and outstanding performance such as making Senior Airman Below the Zone, earning the 23rd Maintenance Group Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez Award and maintaining 100 percent proficiency on monthly loads.
“This memorial is about Staff Sgt. Sara Toy and the incredible weapons community that was her family,” said Lt. Col. Bobby Buckner, 23rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander. “As a commander, I never miss an opportunity to brag about my squadron, and the people in it and today is no exception.
“Losing Sara is going to hurt for a very long time,” Buckner added. “But for a leader in the military, I am very thankful that the men and women in my squadron had a chance to work beside someone of her caliber.”
Those who knew Toy best described her as always smiling, ready to face any challenge and the epitome of the Air Force’s core values.
“Sara was a rising star within Moody’s weapons community,” said Chief Master Sgt. Mike Lemke, 23rd Wing weapons manager. “I can honestly say that she was one of the best and will be sorely missed. As a young Airmen, Sara started her career loading munitions in this very hangar. We could tell right away that soft spoken Airman was eager to learn and had the drive to succeed.”
In honor of her memory, the weapons community dedicated the aircraft used for training and certifying all weapons’ load crew members to Toy.
Echoing Lemke’s feelings, Buckner agreed that Moody will always feel the void of Toy’s absence and he concluded his speech by commending Toy for the sacrifices she made to serve her country.
“To Staff Sgt. Sara Toy, I want to say thank you,” said Buckner. “Thank you for serving during a time of war. Thank you putting your country before yourself. Thank you for taking a tough job and making it look very easy. Thank you for wanting to be a part of something very special and that’s the United States Air Force.”