I knew all of these crewmembers, having served and flown with them at one point or another during my career. Barb knew many of them as well. Especially painful for me was losing two very close comrades, SSgt Scott Bresson and TSgt Chuck Sweet. Both men were great crewmembers and a credit to their country. Chuck and I flew together many times as well, working for me several years in the Wing's Standardization Evaluation Division. Scott and I also flew together many times. I evaluated him on his Instructor Flight Evaluation; later nominating him for a Wing Flight Evaluator position as well.
All 24 crewmembers were great men, sons, fathers, husbands, and warriors. I have always promised myself that I would one day travel to Alaska to visit the monument erected in their honor. This memorial is located outside the Wing HQ at JBER-Elmendorf in Anchorage. I have always taken a moment each and every year on the date of this tragedy to pause and honor these men and the sacrifice they made for all of us.
Today I pause and visit with each of my fallen friends one last time. We are all of one skin, one fabric, and ever will be; woven throughout which our heritage has been forever preserved. I salute you all.