By D. Lanier Shook June 7, 2016
Like most of you, I paused when the news announced the loss of a Blue Angels pilot last week. It was the tragic loss of a brave man and I said a prayer for his family and comrades. But on Saturday I learned the rest of the story.
First of all I need to thank Chuck Porter and Jon Taylor at Salute to Service, a weekly program on 106.3 FM out of Greenville,SC that’s dedicated to the Military, First Responders, and Veterans for their informative show. (Click here to visit their website.) It was their salute to Captain Jeff Kuss, the Blue Angels pilot, that informed me of what really happened and I think you’ll appreciate knowing, too. Whatever your political belief or religious affiliation, you’ll be moved by the story of his sacrifice.
According to Chuck and Jon, Captain Kuss could have ejected before his F/A-18 went down, but stayed in the cockpit to keep it from hitting an apartment complex near Nashville, TN. A quick Google search has confirmed this and here are a few of the links I found.
- Story reported in Huffington Post article.
- Story reported in North Escambia, Florida website.
- The website Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children (acronym for USMC, FYI) reports he also avoided two schools, subdivisions, gas stations, and a bowling alley that was hosting a free kid’s bowling event.
- Twitter accounts of Nashville reporters Chris Conte ( @chrisconte ) and Bree Smith ( @NC5BreeSmith ) display photos and maps showing the proximity of the crash site to apartments and the bowling alley.
Captain Jeff Kuss — like his brothers and sisters around the world — chose to put the lives of others before his. His sacrifice reminds me of what Christ said in John 15:13. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Please tell your friends of Captain Kuss’ sacrifice and keep his family in your prayers.