When I was a freshman in an AFJROTC unit I was reading an article in Airman magazine about a school that turns men into supermen. It was an article about the rigors of Air Force Pararescue training and they followed one PJ candidate, Jason D. Cunningham. When I was done with the article I knew that I had discovered something special. To me, this was the best job in the military. Their sole mission is to save people. For a freshman I was awestruck and had for a time that's all I wanted to be. I still entertain thoughts of trying to be one of these few that put their lives on the line for no other reason than "so that others may live." A maxim that we could all try to live by. About three years later I was reading an article in I Air Force Times where a young Pararescueman by the name of Jason Cunningham was killed while trying to save the crew of a downed helicopter on the side of an afghan mountain. At first I was struck by a sense of familiarity. I knew the name, but couldn't put my finger on it. Searching through my archives of Air Force magazines I came across the original article. I was shocked and stunned. I was saddened by the fact that he was killed, but also somewhat happy because he made it through training and he was doing something that he loved. I ordered a Memorial Bracelet, will wear the band, so that we may never forget of the ultimate sacrifice. Giving one's life so "that others may live."
Jason and I were stationed in Naples,Italy together when he was still in the Navy. He was one of my best friends. Thank you for your story. He was a great man!
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