Fallen hero recognized at Joint Service Open House|
Posted 5/23/2011 Updated 5/23/2011
by Marine Staff Sgt. Leonard Langston
5/23/2011 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- A fallen hero was recognized by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbird Air Demonstration Team at the 2011 Joint Service Open House on May 21. Marine Lance Cpl. Terry E. Honeycutt Jr.'s name was painted onto the inside of the nose wheel gear door of Thunderbird # 1 jet.
"When they first called, I was a bit surprised because it was the Air Force. It brought a tear to my eyes and makes our hearts feel good," said Christine Honeycutt, the lance corporal's mother.
The call caught lance corporal's father off-guard as well. "I was shocked at first, but it's such a huge honor," said Terry E. Honeycutt Sr.
The Thunderbirds recently began a Fallen Warrior Program at their demonstrations to recognize servicemembers from the local area who have given their life in service to their country. They have honored three fallen heroes since the inception of the program. At each location, the public affairs office conducts a search based on proximity of hometown and time frame the servicemember was killed. They work through the respective Service Casualty Affairs Offices to identify individuals and initiate all contact. Once approval from the next of kin is received, the named is painted onto the aircraft. The name is visible when the jet is sitting in the chocks and remains on the jet all for the duration of the respective air show.
Lance Cpl. Honeycutt's mother said her son always wanted to fly planes when he was a child and it was very fitting his name be on a fighter jet.
Lieutenant Col. Case Cunningham, commander leader and pilot of Thunderbird #1 jet, was honored to recognize and dedicate this weekend's demonstrations in Lance Cpl. Honeycutt's name. "This is our way of thanking our servicemembers ."
"The families always thanks us, but for the Thunderbirds, it's a great honor and it means a great deal to us. It's just a reminder what our youth are capable of. I'm the one honored by it."
Lance Cpl. Honeycutt of Waldorf, Md., died Oct. 27, 2010, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, from wounds received while conducting combat operations on Oct. 21, 2010. The 19-year old was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.