A Painful Day for the US Military


The US Navy’s Blue Angels were practicing outside Nashville, TN prior to a deadly crash (Photo: Gene Forte, Facebook)

An F-16 jet from the US Air Force’s elite Thunderbirds group crashed during a flyover for the Air Force Academy’s graduation ceremony in Colorado.

The pilot managed to eject safely before the crash and was unharmed, Air Combat Command confirmed, adding that the pilot steered to an unpopulated area before ejecting.

The pilot was rescued by local first responders, Master Sgt. Chrissy Best, Thunderbirds spokeswoman, told The Air Force Times.

The Thunderbirds’ website lists Maj. Alex Turner as pilot of the jet.

…President Obama, in town to deliver the commencement address at the Air Force Academy, visited with the pilot and thanked him for his service to the country, ABC News was reporting.

Two hours later, the Navy’s Blue Angels lost a jet, but the pilot was not as fortunate as Maj. Turner.

A U.S. Navy Blue Angels jet crashed just after takeoff for a practice flight in Smyrna, Tenn., and the pilot perished, U.S. Navy officials said.

…In Tennessee, Blue Angels fans expressed condolences and concerns on the team’s Facebook page.

“Prayers for the loss the Angels face today,” fan Katie Bella wrote. “God bless all of you and thank you all for your service to this country.”

“My heart is broken for your loss,” wrote fan Rachel Long-Distelrath. “God bless the Blue Angels.”

Later in the day, the US Army suffered an even greater loss of life.

At least three soldiers were killed Thursday at Foot Hood in Texas when their truck overturned in a creek, according to the Army.

Rescue crews remained on the scene late Thursday afternoon. Six soldiers remained unaccounted for. Three other soldiers were rescued and taken to a local hospital where they were reported in stable condition.

…Abbott, the Texas governor, released a statement offering the state’s help to the Fort Hood community “as they deal with this tragedy,” saying “Texas will forever remain grateful for their sacrifices.”

As I noted on Memorial Day, serving in the military is always dangerous, even far from the battlefield. May God bless those lost, those injured, and all of their families.

There are 13 comments.

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens

    God bless those who serve. God be with their families in their hour of grief.

    • #1
  2. Douglas Inactive

    That the nation’s two premier demonstration teams lost jets within hours of each other is kinda spooky, and will have airplane folk pinching salt over their shoulders.

    • #2
  3. danys Thatcher

    A very sad day, indeed. May God bless them and their families.

    • #3
  4. BrentB67 Inactive

    Freedom never has and never will be free. We made an outsized payment in the lives of these aviators and soldiers today.

    • #4
  5. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche

    Tragic, horrible news. May God be with them all.

    • #5
  6. 6foot2inhighheels Member

    Thank you for the poignant reminder to honor our soldiers who face danger every day on the long road to freedom.

    • #6
  7. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    As I noted on Memorial Day, serving in the military is always dangerous, even far from the battlefield. May God bless those lost, those injured, and all of their families.

    Very much so. Thoughts and prayers.

    • #7
  8. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl

    Wow. Scary, sad day. My elementary school is located a few miles south of the Air Force base that the Thunderbirds call home. Periodically, just as we’ve finished reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in the morning, up on our playground, we’ll be treated to a fly-over by their jets as they practice. We all feel like they are close friends.

    • #8
  9. Adriana Harris Inactive
    Adriana Harris

    With all the cut backs in the military budget we don’t have the money for pilot training flights and airplane maintenance. Maintenance crews must resort to cannibalizing other aircraft to keep planes flying. I expect this to happen with more frequency in the future. In exchange for the honor and bravery of our all volunteer force the least we can do is properly equip them. God bless our military.

    • #9
  10. Jim George Member
    Jim George

    One need only look at the shot of the Beautiful Blues next to my name to know how very deeply devoted I am to that magnificent team; I have viewed approximately 11 or 12 of their homecoming shows at Pensacola Beach, save and except one which had to be cancelled due to the Obama administration’s childish cancellation due to “sequestration” and one other due to post-hurricane damage. We are fortunate enough to have a condo on Pensacola Beach and one of the great thrills about being there is the Sunday evening flybys when the Angels return from a show and they fly in perfect forrmation, right on the deck, heading for home base at NAS Pensacola. It is a magnificent sight. For many of us, this really is like losing a family member and Judi and I send our prayers to the family of the lost Angel at this time of horrible and unspeakable sadness. Rest Eternal Grant Him. God Bless America and her Military Defenders.

    • #10
  11. JimGoneWild Coolidge

    Rest in Peace.

    • #11
  12. Guruforhire Member

    I served in the Army Operation Center for awhile, back in the beginning of the GWOT, there is a white board in the little office which is staffed 24/7 to make sure that there is someone always there to handle the Army’s business that every soldier killed had his name and cause of death listed.

    There was always a lethal accident.  Its a dangerous business.

    • #12
  13. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn

    The other four have been found. Grace and peace to their families.

    • #13

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