My hero is my childhood friend Jeff. Jeff was Captain of the football team, class valedictorian, and the first graduate from our high school to attend a US service academy. He graduated from the US Air Force Academy in 1983 and went on to become a pilot. He was the all-American boy, and grew to be a fine man. Although he dated many great girls, when he brought 'Pete' home for a visit, Jeff's family & friends all knew that she was the one for him. He took her to the top of a hill overlooking his Shenandoah Valley family farm and asked her, humbly, if she thought she could ever live in such a place, as he proposed to her.
On a lovely autumn day in October of 1988, Jeff died in a crash of the Air Force plane he was piloting, along with 5 other crewmembers. It was just 3 weeks after their wedding.
In losing my best friend in such a drastic way, I have became a stronger and better person - with more compassion, and keeping much of Jeff's spirit, which is always with me. I learned through this experience that the spirit of one who has passed does not diminish - it grows stronger with the years. Jeff left an indelible and positive impact on all who knew him, and I am in awe of the continuing goodwill his name generates in all who knew him.
I didn't think much about heaven until long after Jeff was gone. Yet there have been times I feel his spirit has come to me, and this has given me the sure faith that we old friends will meet again one day.
Submitted by Anonymous
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