WATERVILLE — Army Spc. Wade A. Slack of Waterville died May 6 while serving in Afghanistan. His family received word of his death that night. By the morning of May 8, family members would be boarding a plane to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where Slack’s remains would arrive.

Army policy is to pay for three plane tickets, but eight family members wanted to attend. As they scrambled to buy the tickets, they discovered that five had already been purchased by two foundations – the Military Friends Foundation and the Fisher House Foundation – that support families of fallen soldiers.

“You can imagine the relief,” said Allison Slack, Wade’s sister. “We weren’t expecting anything like that. We thought it would be nice, for Wade, to give back like that.”

That’s why the family has established the Wade Slack Foundation, to support the families of fallen soldiers.

Last week, Slack’s family and friends organized a tribute and concert in his memory at Waterville Senior High School, collecting about $500 in donations for the new foundation, according to Allison Slack.

A couple hundred attended. Allison Slack delivered a speech, which she wasn’t able to do at her brother’s funeral May 16.

“I spoke about how it was when he went away to the military and how my little brother turned into this man with strong convictions and was dedicated to his family and country,” she said. “I know he’s gone home and is there waiting for us.”

Wade Slack, a 2007 Waterville graduate, specialized in disarming explosives. He died from mortar fire wounds after his unit was attacked.

Donations may be sent to Wade Slack Foundation, 2748 B Riverside Drive, Vassalboro, ME 04989.