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.