Saturday, March 16, 2013

With Tears of Grief...

CPT Sara M (Knutson) Cullen USA (KIA)
In the grief and mourning surrounding the loss of the Prowler from VAQ-129 on Monday, this story escaped my notice. I feel horrible about not mentioning this crash. Which occurred on the same day, in the theater of war. Let us remember them now.
CPT Cullen was killed during a training mission aboard a UH-60 Black Hawk near Kandahar in Afghanistan. The NATO military coalition said in a statement that initial reports showed no enemy activity in the area at the time. The crash occurred during a heavy rainstorm in Daman district. The cause of the crash is under investigation. A total of five soldiers were killed. The names of the deceased have not been officially released at this time. 
She was a Graduate of Liberty High School in 2003. At West Point, she studied law, and was a member of the Judo team. She was previously stationed at Fort Wainwright in Alaska and had one other deployment to Pakistan on humanitarian mission. She married her husband (a former Black Hawk pilot) on November 17, 2012, and was deployed to Afghanistan in January of this year. Her husband deployed with a private contracting company in February to Afghanistan. He accompanied her body back to Dover AFB. 
Her mother remembers her as an adventurous, fun loving young woman with a smile and a laugh that would light up a room. She loved to fly and proudly served her country. 
She is survived by her husband, parents, brother, sister (a Major, US Army), her brother-in-law, and her nieces.
From Florida (link) regarding the crash of CPT Cullen's Black Hawk...
 Staff Sgt. Marc Scialdo
As a crew chief aboard Black Hawk helicopters in Iraq and Afghanistan, Army Staff Sgt. Marc Scialdo made his family so proud back home in Florida that his parents and siblings gave him a nickname: “the Golden Boy.” 
“He made our family shine,” the 31-year-old soldier’s mother, Susan Scialdo, said Friday. “He lifted us all. He was just an awesome individual. Always helpful, always shining.”
Now Scialdo’s family in Naples, Fla., and those of the soldiers he flew with are grieving, along with the fellow aviators who trained and served beside them at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah. Five soldiers, including Scialdo, died Monday when their UH-60 Black Hawk crashed, making it the deadliest day so far this year for U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan.
While his mother confirmed Scialdo was killed in the crash, the Army by Friday afternoon still had not released names of the soldiers who died. Maj. Gen. Robert A. Abrams, commanding general for Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, said Wednesday from Afghanistan the crew was flying a routine training mission using night-vision goggles. No enemy attacks were reported.
It has not been a good week.

I have no more words but I'll leave you with this
, it will break your heart. But you need to go there, read and remember...

My sincerest apologies to the men and women of the United States Army, active duty and veterans, for not posting this before.


  1. No apologies necessary. The Army has been pretty quiet about this crash and have not released all of the names of the deceased yet (at least not that I could find- and I've been looking since the 11th). Today is the first day I've seen any names released.

    It has been a VERY bad aviation week for sure. They will be remembered as patriots. Rest in peace.

    1. Thanks AF Sister, I appreciate that.

      Patriots they were, remembered they will be.


  2. Alas... My mouth knows no words, but my heart is full...

  3. The closeness of the military aviation community is both a blessing and a curse. It has not been a good week, nor has it been a good month. My heart is so very heavy.

  4. HF6, that is so true- a blessing of course, but a curse in that the chances are we'll almost definitely lose someone we know at some point in our career. It's an inherently dangerous skill, as is any form of warfare of course, but aviation, being somewhat of a smaller community, means the ripples from a mishap will spread fast and touch us all.

    1. Like I said in an earlier post, these things hit hard when you have kids who fly.

      Like HF6 said, this has been a hard month.

  5. "Not a good week" is an understatement. You were right about that FB post, Chris. Wrenching.

    1. Felt that I had to get it out there though, to honor those who were lost.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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