Fallen pilots memorialized in ceremony Tuesday
By Airman 1st Class Danielle Hill , 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 30, 2008
COLUMBUS AFB, Miss. --
Both joy and sorrow filled the hearts of Columbus AFB members and friends Tuesday morning during the memorial ceremony for Maj. Blair Faulkner and 2nd Lt. Matthew Emmons at Smith Memorial Plaza.
Both pilots were fatally injured in a T-38 crash April 23 at CAFB.
The names of Major Faulkner, 43rd Flying Training Squadron instructor pilot, and Lieutenant Emmons, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training class 08-14, will now forever be engraved on the wall in Smith Plaza, as they selflessly gave their lives to their country.
The families of both Airmen were on hand to share the occasion with the base and community members. The spouses shared recollections of each of their husbands along with thanks to the community for the continued support during their time of loss.
During the ceremony, medals were presented to each family for the decorations awarded to the pilots.
Major Faulkner received the Meritorious Service Medal for Meritorious Service for his more than two years assigned to the 43rd FTS. During this time the major served as a T-38 instructor pilot and section chief with in the 43rd FTS. Additionally, Major Faulkner executed a no-notice mission evaluation with the 19th Air Force Director of Operations, which led him to earn a "commendable" rating for his initial brief and debrief.
Lieutenant Emmons was awarded the Commendation medal for his accomplishments for his time assigned to the 14th Flying Training Wing. While in pilot training at CAFB the lieutenant received 37 overall "excellent" rating during simulator training and T-6 flights. He was awarded the "Top Gun" award for his performance in the Contact category at the completion of the T-6 phase of training.
A tribute table was set up at the ceremony for any guests who wanted to share their thoughts and prayers to the fallen officers. Members of the 43rd FTS, 50th Flying Training Squadron and SUPT class 08-14 stood in formation to honor their comrades.
With a true passion for flying, these officers demonstrated the core values in which every servicemember strives for in their daily lives.
In closing statements, Major Dave Garrison, 43rd FTS, said "Major Faulkner, Lieutenant Emmons, you will always be remembered."