Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Some Gave All

Marine Maj. Jay Thomas Aubin

36, of Waterville, Maine.
He was assigned to the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron —1, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Ariz. Died on March 20, 2003.

"His father flew puddle-jumpers in the Maine woods, and Aubin began riding with him in the cockpit when he was 2. He joined the Marines right after high school, hoping to become a fighter pilot, but his eyesight fell just short, so he settled for flying helicopters. Aubin—married to a Marine, with a son and a daughter—became one of the first casualties of the war when his CH-46 Sea Knight chopper crashed in Kuwait."

As I attempted to learn more about the life and the death of Major Aubin, I was saddened to discover that his mother learned of his death while watching television. It is likely that a journalist learned of his identity and in the passion of the early days and weeks of the conflict, decided to run with the story instead of allowing the Pentagon to inform the family in a dignified, compassionate, and honoring way. That broke my heart.

I'll share with you what I wrote to his family:

"To the family of Jay Thomas Aubin, I honor your sacrifice and I honor Major Aubin's service to our country. To those of you who loved him, please know that there are families in this nation who understand your loss and appreciate all that is being done for our safety, our nation and our way of life.

May God grant you comfort as you remember your loved one."

It is a privilege to uphold these brave men and women in our prayers. Let us remember the sacrifices of the fallen and their families as well as remembering those who are serving now.

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