I lost a shipmate on September 11th. He died at his desk in the Pentagon. Like so many others that day, he wasn't on active duty. He had retired after a long and successful career. Retired as a Navy Captain, then came back to serve his country some more as a civilian.
His name was Jack Punches. When he was on active duty, Jack flew P-3 Orion patrol aircraft. He was a good pilot. The missions we did back during the Cold War could be pretty exciting (or long and boring), and Jack took us safely in and out of trouble many a time. Jack had lost his ring finger in a boating accident, so he could only give you a "high four" to celebrate success. We had quite a bit of success and fun deploying to Kef and Andoya. We would work the targets by day, and relax at "night" in the land where the sun never went down.
I think of you often, Jack. I think of the evil men who killed you and I vow that we will continue the fight until their likes are destroyed. You were a good man, Jack Punches, and you are missed.
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