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RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — Members of the 86th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron on Friday honored an airman who died last week after falling from a downtown parking garage.

Few in the squadron knew Senior Airman Jordanis Michael McElroy-Ramirez very well. He joined the squadron only a couple of months ago. But in his brief time with the unit, his commander said, the 20-year-old made a lasting impression.

“Jordanis was only with us for 60 days, but I can tell you he immediately fit into our unit and became part of our maintenance family,” said Maj. Roger Klaffka, commander of the 86th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

More than 130 people attended the ceremony at the base’s North Side Chapel.

A poster-sized photo of a smiling McElroy-Ramirez stood at the front of the chapel. A model of a C-130 Hercules — the type of cargo plane he helped maintain — was placed to the right of the altar.

McElroy-Ramirez called Dale, Texas, his hometown. He joined the Air Force on April 13, 2004, as an instrument and flight control systems specialist.

His first assignment was at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, before he arrived at Ramstein, where he served as an aircraft mechanic who worked on aircraft guidance systems.

Special agents with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations are still looking into the airman’s death, said Darlene Cowsert, an Air Force spokeswoman at Ramstein Air Base.

The Air Force has not released additional details on the cause of the death. But a local newspaper reported that McElroy-Ramirez fell from a parking garage near a Kaiserslautern nightclub.


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