Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Reflections

SSgt John Campisi, of Covina CA. That's who I think about first on every Memorial Day since 1990.

SSgt Campisi served our country in the 55th Organizational Maintenance Squadron (OMS) at Offutt AFB in Nebraska. I served as a SSgt in that unit as well, just down the road. I was a PMEL troop (test equipment calibration) with a cushy job in a environmentally controlled building. John was a flight line maintainer. We were roughly the same age. I was nine years married, and John was married with four children - two girls and two boys.

The 55th OMS deployed recon aircraft (and maintainers) within hours of Sadaam Hussein's troops crossing the border into Kuwait. John deployed. I performed my national security task from Omaha and - though I was ready to deploy - did not.

SSgt Campisi is listed as the first death in Operation Desert Shield. He was not killed in combat, but in a truck accident as a hazard of working long hours on a strange airfield at night. Tragic.

SSgt Campisi served his country in peacetime and, suddenly, in war. He deployed when called without question. He did not come home to his family. I think about his family now and then, and certainly on Memorial Day. How is his wife? Do his children know about him?

My prayers go out today to John Campisi's family. My gratitude today to all of the men and women who served and did not come home. We remember them.


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  3. I am Johns wife...and yes the children and now our grandchildren know about him. You can reach me here.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Mrs Campisi,
    I want to wish you and your family as happy a Memorial Day as possible. I did not know your husband, but I remember his death. I was an mishap investigator with the USAF in Europe at the time, and my job made me privy to mishap notifications earler than most. I remember reading a preliminary report of the accident.
    27 years later, I've never forgotten that terrible day, nor the name SSgt John Campisi, as the first to fall in that horrible war.
    All the best,
    Scott W. Hutchings, MSgt, USAF (Ret)
    29 May 2017