That ominous day on the calendar.
I suspect most of us have one.
The day that takes you back.
In my case, it is the day that everything changed.
Tragedy rained from the sky.
October 22nd 1980.
It has been 38 years, but this day is always dark for me.
My brother Greg, piloting a fighter jet on a routine training mission with his weapons systems officer, ascended into the October sky from Ellington Field near Houston.
Their jet’s engines flamed out seconds after takeoff.
Training and instinct would demand they eject from the flailing jet immediately.
Except for one problem.
There was a neighborhood and schoolyard in their flight path.
Instead, they chose to pull the doomed aircraft sharply into an open field to their left.
And they were gone.
No lives other than the two young heroes were lost that morning.
But countless lives were affected forever.
Lives saved and lives grieving.
All these years later, still I grieve.
I dread this day every year.
But I’m thankful for my big brother, Greg.
And I dream of joining him in the sky one day.