Story by Staff Sgt. Jason McCasland, 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE — Family, friends and members of Team Barksdale gathered to remember the aviators of RAIDR 21 in a ceremony here, July 21.
The ceremony was held to honor the crew, the families they left behind, and to remind all in attendance that how we live is the ultimate tribute to those we’ve lost.
“As an Air Force family, we need to appreciate the dangerous aspects of flying and defending our nation,” said Col. Andrew Gebara, 2nd Bomb Wing commander. “We want the living to know that we appreciate life, and when lives are lost, we won’t forget…we will continue to live in a way that would make our loved ones proud.”
Five years have passed since the crew of RAIDR 21 was lost, but their legacy will continue to inspire Barksdale Airmen for decades to come.
“Whether we are expected to perform nuclear deterrence operations, a conventional global strike tasking, or our expeditionary missions, we will use these men’s example of bravery to succeed,” Gebara said.
The ceremony concluded with the unveiling of a granite plaque that listed the names of the RAIDR 21 crew: Col. George T. Martin (Doc), Maj. Christopher M. Cooper (Fireball), Maj.Brent D. Williams (B-Dubb), Capt. Michael K. Dodson (Bull), 1st Lt. Robert T. Gerren (Fonzi) and 1st Lt. Joshua D. Shepherd (Shaman).