It has been hard to sit on this since I first learned of it on Tuesday afternoon.
But now the names have been released, and now I can write this.
On Monday, 12 December 2011, a helicopter crash near Joint Base Lewis-McChord, near Olympia, Washington, claimed the lives of four United States Army aviators:
- Captain Anne M. Montgomery, a native of North Dakota
- Chief Warrant Officer Frank A. Buoniconti, a native of Colorado
- Chief Warrant Officer Joseph S. Satterfield, a native of Alaska
- Chief Warrant Officer Lucas Daniel Sigfrid, a native of Alabama.
Captain Anne Maureen Rockeman “Rocky” Montgomery was my daughter-in-law, married to my second son, Chief Warrant Officer Aaron “Monty” Montgomery. There is much I do not know about Rocky, as they had only been married since May of 2010, and they had spent that time in many, many places, serving the needs of the country. What I know about her is that she was the perfect other half of my son. She was what made him whole, in a way that so few people can truly enrich and be enriched by others. She lit his face in a way that I had never seen before.
Rocky leaves a family whose size and extent I still do not know in whole. I know her parents are missionaries in Kenya, and that she has at least one sister and one brother, and I will pray for them in this time of need.
Aaron, of course, personally knew all four of the people who were snatched away by this tragedy, knew their wives and families, and spent time with them as members of a close-knit and loving second family. I can only imagine what he’s going through now, and I pray that he will find the strength he needs.
PLEASE NOTE (added 12 Jan 2012):
Comments on this blog are turned off automatically when a post is 21 days old, and there seems to be no way to turn them on for one post, without turning them on for all old posts. (I tried that, actually — the spam began to bury me in hours.)
If you wish to add a note to Rocky’s “Memorial Wall,” email me, and I will make it happen.