This is the last moment I saw my older brother Greg alive.
He’s goofing around and making all of us laugh, as he often did.
He was 31.
I was 19 as I took this photo.
I was a cadet at the Air Force Academy, aspiring to be a fighter pilot, like he was.
He had become an Air Force pilot like our father, who died when I was four.
We never know when we’re seeing someone we love for the last time.
We’re lulled into believing that there will be many more moments with them.
But this precious existence is fleeting.
On October 22nd 1980, Greg’s fighter jet’s engines flared out shortly after takeoff in East Texas.
Had he and his navigator ejected, the jet would have slammed into a neighborhood.
The two pilots chose to steer the flaming craft into an adjacent field instead.
That’s my brother, Greg.
Funny, Loving, Heroic.
It was 37 years ago today.
Seems like yesterday.
Seems like a million years ago.
Changed everything for countless people.
Damn, I miss him.
And I’m thankful to have had such a wonderful brother.
#ThisIsTheSacredMoment #BrothersOfTheSky #HighFlight
(Above: Greg, his wife Mary Lou and children Taylor and Grant on the last day I saw him / Greg on Kelly AFB tarmac with F-100)
David Campos says
Chris kind words and great memories is what we’re left with. I just turned 55 years of age and have been missing my mother who passed away of breast cancer on August 7th 1999, not a single day has gone by since she’s passed that I don’t think of her and wish we could still be together. I totally get you my brother. I wish for one more day one more cooked meal from her and of course one more advice . Love my mom Ernestina Flores Campos your loving son David Flores Sr Campos
Chris Duel says
God bless you and your wonderful Mom. I can relate to all of your sentiments about your Mom.
I do believe that she is still with you, as my brother is still with me, just on a different, higher vibration and we will be with them there someday down the road.
Thanks for your comment and for your frequent kind words and support on Twitter.