2007 Don becomes an Army officer.
Luz (Don’s mom) and Sherry (Don’s sister) were present at Fort Rucker, Alabama (the U.S. Army’s aviation headquarters) for the event. We were so proud!
2008 Don graduates flight school and officially became a Black Hawk (UH-60) helicopter pilot.
Leo (Don’s dad), Luz (Don’s mom), and Sherry (Don’s sister) were there at Fort Rucker, Alabama (the U.S. Army’s aviation headquarters) when he got pinned his wings. Coincidentally it was also on Leo’s birthday (December 11, 2008); what a birthday gift it was to see his son become a pilot!
2012 Don is killed in the line of duty.
A helicopter crash no more than 3 kilometers outside of Field Operating Base Payne, while in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, claimed the life of Don and three of his crew. Don’s military ID card, partially burned, was recovered from the wreckage. The smell of burning plastic was still evident on the card when it was delivered to his family.
We can take some solace in knowing that Don had been doing good things while he was deployed in Iraq and then in Afghanistan, where he died. He once said in an audio interview (link on the side bar), “I wanted to be a MEDEVAC guy. To be the guy everyone wants to see. To get them out when their hurt and just get them help.“ This was what he was attempting to do on that fateful, dark night back in April 19, 2012. He didn’t make it that time. But we must never forget the many people he rescued through the years.
If you want to say something to Don or just want to leave a few words for his family, then please do leave a comment. This Website will remain live for as long as possible. You can comment as many times as you want as well as read the other comments people left behind. After which, we will print all the comments, and keep it with Don’s other memorabilia forever. Also note that the first post with 110 comments is full and can not accept anymore; please comment on the other posts.
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