Honoring the lives of fallen first responders on Veterans Day, national nonprofit organization Tunnel to Towers Foundation has paid off the home mortgage for slain Bonneville County Sheriff’s Deputy Wyatt Maser’s family.
The organization is named in honor of a fallen 9/11 firefighter.
“The Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s Fallen First Responder Home Program, created in 2015, pays off mortgages for the families of law enforcement officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty who leave behind young children,” a foundation news release said. “The Foundation’s goal is to ensure stability and security to families facing sudden tragic loss.”
Maser, who began as a deputy in April 2019 after he served almost three years as a senior airman in the United States Air Force, died in May.
Maser was the first Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office deputy to die in the line of duty in 82 years, the Post Register previously reported. His death drew support locally and nationally. Hundreds attended his funeral in late May.
Maser is survived by his wife, Paige, and infant daughter. According to a news release from Tunnel to Towers, Paige Maser said the couple met in Germany when they were both in the Air Force. They bought their house in eastern Idaho just as their daughter Morgan Emily Maser was born Aug. 1, 2019.
“This house has so many special memories,” Paige Maser said, according to the news release. “Not having the financial burden of a mortgage payment has made life so much easier and I’m so thankful for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.”
Paige Maser said her husband was “very proud of his military service, and he loved being a veteran.” She said: “It was a big part of our relationship and I think he would have been happy to know that we were chosen for this day.”
Maser’s mortgage was one of 11 mortgages of fallen first responders and active duty military members across the country that Tunnel to Towers said it paid off to celebrate Veterans Day. Last December, the nonprofit paid the mortgage of Dustin Ard, a U.S. Army service member born in eastern Idaho who died in combat last August.
The sheriff’s office said Maser’s death was an accident. Another deputy was headed to the scene of a rollover accident that Maser was already at. A woman involved in the accident was wielding a machete and, according to accounts from law enforcement, ignored orders to drop the weapon while she walked away from the deputies. Maser and another deputy were attempting to apprehend her when a third deputy struck Maser with his patrol vehicle. Maser died later at a local hospital.