"He believed there was a job to do and he was there to do it." - Christie Flynn about her late husband, Chief Warrant Officer John Flynn
Chief Warrant Officer John Flynn was killed on September 25th when his Chinook crashed in Afghanistan. John was a friend of Chris C. who visits Walter Reed Army Medical Center for Soldiers' Angels. This note is from Chris:
Well damn, it was John. I graduated high school with him. I worked my way through college and graduate school paving roads each summer. He was an equipment operator/foreman who I worked with quite a bit. He loved flying, loved his helicopters, and loved the Army National Guard. I could almost bring a job to a stand-still by asking him the right questions about flying. He'd shut off the equipment and get this sort of teacherly bearing about him and explain in detail all about rotary winged aircraft, the particular training he was doing or his latest missions.The only thing he loved more was his family.
There's much more. The Reno Gazette-Journal had this on the 27th of September:
Afghanistan crash that killed 5 still under investigation
The flag flew at half-staff Monday in the front yard of the Flynn residence in Spanish Springs -- a tribute to a fallen husband, father and son.
Chief Warrant Officer John M. Flynn, 36, and Sgt. Patrick D. Stewart, 35, of Fernley were among the five crew members killed in the Sunday crash of a Chinook helicopter supporting military operations in Afghanistan.
"He believed there was a job to do and he was there to do it," said Flynn's widow, 35-year-old Christine Flynn.
"We're really proud of him for what he did," she said, her eyes pooling. "He believed in his job and his fight for the cause."
Flynn, Stewart, two Oregon residents also in Company D of the Army National Guard's 113th Aviation Regiment and a sergeant from an Army aviation unit based in Germany died when the CH-47 crashed southwest of Deh Chopan in southern Zabul province, Afghanistan. There were no survivors, officials said.
Deployed to Afghanistan in March, Flynn last visited home for about two weeks ending in early August. The 1988 Reno High School graduate and his wife last communicated by instant messaging the night before his death.
During that communication, Flynn mostly inquired about his wife and children, 7-year-old Hannah and 5-year-old Benjamin, Flynn said.
Her husband rarely spoke of the dangers he faced in Afghanistan, she said.
"John protected me from that," she said. "He let me know as little as possible, but I'm a smart woman."
Flynn's father, 68-year-old John J. Flynn of Reno, said his son felt strongly about his duties as a soldier and his mission in Afghanistan.
"He said, 'Dad, someone has to do it,' " Flynn said. "There was no doubt and no hesitation about what he was doing.
"In his mind, and in mine too, he was fighting evil and believed in good."
The elder Flynn said his son would be proud of the "overwhelming" support now being given to his family by friends and neighbors.
"We'll go on because John would have us go on," the father said. "This is what strong families do."
Christine Flynn said she will make sure her children know of the importance of her husband's sacrifice.
"I loved my husband and I'm very proud of him," she said. "His children will know the kind of man he was."
Flynn was an experienced instructor pilot in the CH-47 and also flew the CH-54. He enlisted in the Nevada National Guard in February 1988 and after completing Warrant Officer School in 1992.
"These soldiers epitomize the sacrifice and dedication our guardsmen bring to our communities," Brig. Gen. Cindy Kirkland, Nevada adjutant general, said. "While we all grieve over their loss, the Nevada Guard will do our best to take care of their families and the families of the rest of the soldiers still deployed to Southwest Asia."
There's a fund set up to help take care of John's family. If you'd like to help you can donate to the John Flynn Memorial Fund at the Bank of America. The account number is 004970795551.
If you're in Nevada, then you are probably seeing a lot of opportunistic types taking advantage of the crash to harp their anti-war, bring them home mantras. Think about supporting Christie Flynn and her family (along with the Stewarts) during their time of need. And think about showing support for the mission in Afghanistan. We need to ensure that the sacrifices made to free Afghanistan - John Flynn's sacrifices - were not made in vain.
Godspeed Chief Flynn.