With a Heavy Heart: Updated #2

UPDATE #2: Thomas Cameron is the other missing pilot and Fernando Jorge is the deceased rescue swimmer.  Rest In Peace and may the seas be always in your favor Fernando.

UPDATE as of 1838 EST 29 FEB: Two names have been released. Drew Knight of Thomasville, Ala and Dale Taylor of North Carolina are among the missing crewmembers.  This information comes from http://mobile.gulflive.com/advgulf/pm_106489/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=8OSOzvPC&rwthr=0

It is with a very, very heavy heart that I write this post. I awoke this morning to find that yet again another shipmate’s life has been lost and three more remain missing after a Coast Guard helicopter crashed into the waters of Mobile Bay overnight. The four brave souls were out on a training mission; the Coast Guard has not released any names and the accident is still under investigation. You can read the Coast Guard Commandant’s official statement here: http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2012/02/loss-of-coast-guard-aircraft-6535/

This sad, horrible news made me think back to all of the recent Coast Guard lives that have been lost in aircraft accidents and crashes. I have many friends that are pilots and immediately made contact with a few that could have even possibly been anywhere near this incident. Luckily those immediate friends are safe, but I fear for my extended family.
If you are not aware, the Coast Guard is a monumentally small service compared to the size and scope of the tasks with which they are asked to complete on a daily basis. These brave men and women are protecting our homeland by air and by sea while we all go about our daily lives seemingly unaware of their presence. They do this with little funding and an even smaller task force of just over 40,000 members.

While I know this post is not my usual upbeat attitude and has nothing to do with an adventure I am currently on, my Coast Guard adventure was 12 years long and along the way I met amazing people who I still to this day trust with my life.   Below are just a few of them

My "big" brothers, Brad & Josh

My loves, Regan & Jack (their husband/dad is a helo pilot

My gal Mia

I know that once the names are released of the missing and deceased, there will be an out crying of anguish among the tight-knit community that is the Coast Guard Aviation community. The entire Coast Guard will indeed feel the pain right along with those shipmates. As an extended member of this family, my heart hurts but I must be thankful for those who remain to guard us. Semper Paratus

Now we wait…

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