Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Returning the Favor and Keeping the Faith...

A few years back Les and I took the BK to Beaufort to the airshow, and watched a young Blue Angel pilot burn it in. We went looking for him, and landed and walked the ground where he died. It was a significant emotional event for me, and for Les too I suspect. After that happened I kept thinking about his parents - what was going through his mom's head. They were at the show and watched their son die. I thought about something Les said to me as we flew over the path his jet cleared on the way in. Les opined that Kevin rode the aircraft in to avoid letting it kill people on the ground. You may remember some time after that a Navy guy punched out of a jet out West that killed a man's family on the ground. It was ugly. It's what happens when you eject out of several ton's of metal moving at several hundred miles an hour over a populated area. So anyway, I am thinking that this mother is absolutely crushed, and has nothing to comfort her. So I wrote her a letter.

I told her, amongst other things, that Les and I decided that Kevin deliberately stayed with that jet to avoid hurting anyone.

Was it a kind sentiment or the truth?

God only knows.

We - the Meducare family - also bought Kevin's parents flowers on the first anniversary of his death. She did write me back and tell me what that letter meant to her.

Why am I telling you this? Because Jeanne just told me that during her visit to the Beaufort airshow yesterday, a Blue Angel on a golf-cart rode up to her and asked if they were Omniflight. She said yes. He went away and came back with a signed picture of the team/aircraft. It said thanks for what we do.

The favor has been returned and the faith has been kept.

1 comment:

  1. Dan, I remember you talking about this one. Powerful story and an insightful view of what the pilot may have been thinking and the decisions one is faced with.
    as always,


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