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Dying Man’s Family in Fight With AF

The family of an Air Force employee dying of cancer is angry with the Department of Defense for refusing to fly the man by air ambulance from Palmdale to Boston so he can spend his last days in the suburb where he grew up.

Avram Brody, 25, a civilian who worked as an electronics engineer at Edwards Air Force Base for three years, was diagnosed as having an inoperable brain tumor last year, officials said. Doctors in July gave him only weeks to live.

Family members say his final wish is to return to his childhood home of Norwood, Mass. But the cost of providing commercial air ambulance service is between $5,000 and $10,000, a sum the family cannot afford, said Margaret Sullivan, an assistant to U.S. Rep. Nicholas Mavroulas (D-Mass.).

Despite requests over the last few days from Mavroulas, U.S. Rep. Joseph Moakley (D-Mass.) and U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), Air Force officials have refused to fly Brody, citing regulations that prohibit the transport of civilians. Air Force Maj. Fran Tunstall said such trips would cost the government about $30,000.

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