Meaning of Memorial Day

A year-and-a-half into commanding the 920th Rescue Wing and Col. Kurt A. Matthews is getting ready to attend his fourth burial. The tragedy of the past year brought Memorial Day 2018 perspective for 2,000 Reserve Citizen Airmen that serve with the 920th RQW. The rescue community received a major blow when 7 Airmen were killed aboard Jolly 51, an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter that crashed in Iraq March 15, 2018. Among those killed were pararescuemen, Master Sgt. Bill Posch, 36, and Staff Sgt. Carl Enis, 31, two men assigned to the 308th Rescue Squadron within the 920th RQW. Another loss preceded when a recently retired 920th Operations Group commander and close friend to many, Col. Chris “Sunshine” Hannon, was killed after being struck by a car while bicycling. Five months earlier the grips of post-traumatic stress led Master Sgt. Pete “PJ” Pavenski, an aerial gunner with the 301st Rescue Squadron, to take his own life. “Nothing can fill the void left by the loss of these great men…,” said Matthews.

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