Foundation pays off mortgage for family of fallen F-16 pilot

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. — The Sun Prairie home of an F-16 pilot who was killed in a crash while training last year is now paid off in full thanks to a national foundation.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation says it has paid off the home of U.S. Air Force Major Durwood Martin “Rocky” Jones as one of 50 mortgages paid for Gold Star families and fallen police officers and firefighters across the country.

Jones died in December 2020 when his F-16 that took off from Truax Field in Madison crashed in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. He left behind a wife and two young children.

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“Thanks to the generosity of this great nation, the Jones family and 49 additional families will never have to worry about making another mortgage payment, and will always have a place to call home,” Tunnel to Towers CEO and Chairman Frank Siller said in a statement.

The foundation says it was able to pay off the mortgages for 50 families in 18 states in a single day thanks to the influx of donations it saw as America marked the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The foundation was established in the memory of FDNY firefighter Stephen Siller, who died on September 11.