Remembrance; A promise kept

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jessica Haynie
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
– A Remembrance Ceremony for U.S. Air Force Maj. David Brodeur was held at Columbus Air Force Base, on Jan. 5, 2022. During this time of remembrance, the 50th Flying Training Squadron wanted to follow through on a promise made by Brodeur to Tech. Sgt. Joseph Cannada, 14th Flying Training Wing Client Service Center section chief.

“When I think of [Brodeur] I think of three things that explain his legacy,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Alexander Heyman, 14th Operations Group commander. “I think of excellence, relationships, and his crooked smile.”

Brodeur and Cannada first met in 2010. Brodeur was selected as an Executive Officer for the 11th Air Force North American Aerospace Defense Command Commander, Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Cannada, a Senior Airman at the time, was assigned as the Executive Communications Technician to Atkins.

The two formed a bond after Brodeur took Cannada under his wing and showed him the ropes, helping him to feel comfortable and a part of the team. After six months of working together, both men were selected to deploy. Brodeur, who was an F-16 pilot, promised that he would give Cannada an incentive flight once they had both returned. Unfortunately, on April 27, 2011, Maj. Brodeur was killed during his deployment.

Cannada is now stationed at the 14th FTW. The 50th FTS heard this story through Cannada’s Commander, U.S. Air Force Maj. Elizabeth Rainwater, 14th Communications Squadron commander, and decided to help fulfill Brodeur’s promise to Cannada.

“Liz and I got together and started talking. I never knew that Dave made this promise,” said Susan, Maj. Brodeur’s widow. “I wanted to make this promise come true. David may be gone, but his impact continues. Not only on me and his children, but on so many people out there.”

Cannada was given an incentive flight on the day of Maj. Brodeur’s remembrance.

“It is difficult to put into words what today means to me,” said Cannada. “Susan, Elizabeth, David, I am humbled that you would allow me to be a part of the way that Columbus Air Force Base will honor Maj. Brodeur.”

Brodeur’s family was in attendance for the remembrance ceremony and was able to see Cannada take to the flightline for his flight.

“This week was an opportunity I never thought would happen,” said Cannada. “Honoring Maj. Brodeur through the remembrance ceremony and the memorial wall, taking this flight, and spending time getting to know his family are all things I will never forget.”