Yesterday I was consumed with the Blue Angels and the loss of Marine Captain Jeff Kuss. While I knew that the Number 6 aircraft of the Thunderbirds had also crashed shortly after the flyover at the Air Force Academy graduation, I knew that the pilot, Major Alex Turner, had ejected safely and was okay. You can read that story here.
|Sad to see such a beautiful aircraft meet such a fate, but her pilot is safe. (Source)|
The story that I neglected to mention was the death of five artillerymen, with four others still missing, down at Fort Hood in Texas, in a nasty flash flood. They belonged to the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. That story is here. My old "home town" newspaper, the Stars & Stripes provides a synopsis of the events of that tragic day, the 2nd of June, 2016.
I feel bad not mentioning the Army story earlier, or the Air Force one (especially with my having been a member of that service, though many years ago). In my defense, my son-in-law Big Time, is a Naval Aviator, my daughter The WSO, is a Naval Flight Officer. I have a number of friends and acquaintances who ply the same trade as those Blue Angel pilots. I am a part of the Naval Aviation family. When we lose someone, the word spreads rapidly. Not the name, just that "someone went down."
One thing the community knows is that you don't want to hear about the death of a loved one via social media or on the television. So mum's the word until the Navy releases the name. So you wonder and you worry. Another thing I might add is that one of the Blues flew with Big Time in VFA-136. He and The WSO know him well. So we were all a bit pre-occupied Thursday.
But I do feel terrible not expressing sorrow or grief at the loss of those fine soldiers down in Texas.
I mourn their loss and pray for comfort for their families and friends.
Serving in the military can be, and often is, dangerous. We lose people in training, we lose people in combat. Every death is felt. Every loss is mourned. Rest in Peace, Godspeed to those who we lost. Pray that the missing are found, safe and alive.
Pray for the folks in Texas as well. The weather down there is pretty bad right now.