BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – The various sounds of the airfield whirl with a sort of rhythmic chaos as Air Force flight crews keep everything in order preparing aircrafts for flight.
Yet, a closer look at one of these revered war birds reveals something unique in quiet but fitting contrast – “Old Glory.”
This great symbol of freedom and liberty isn’t just on a flag pole or draped as a banner, but solemnly folded and placed in the luminous canopy of an F-16 fighter jet.
This singular flag is being flown for one of America’s heroes — those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to serve our nation and secure its freedom.
Disney Road may not ring a bell for some, but for others, it’s the lifeline of operations on BAF.
This lifeline is named for Spc. Jason Disney, a young soldier with the 7th Transportation Battalion, Fort Bragg, N.C., and Fallon native who died 12 years ago from injuries sustained right here at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan on Feb. 13, 2002.
“A former soldier of mine with the 542nd Maintenance Company, Fort Lewis, Wash., is married to the sister of Disney, said Maj. Matthew Price, the brigade supply officer for the 401st Army Field Support Brigade. “His wife contacted me and asked if we could have a flag flown in his honor on the anniversary of his death.”
“Getting a flag flown over Bagram is the least we can do for a fallen comrade, but it shows, even 12 years later, we’re able to honor Disney and his family,” added Price.
As U.S. combat and sustainment missions continue throughout Afghanistan, recognizing our fallen comrades never fails to humble and evoke one of the Army’s core values – selfless service.
“It’s a great honor,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Sean “Hooligan” Holahan, an F-16 fighter jet pilot with the 93rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, BAF. “We’re here to support the troops on the ground. Anything we can do to honor one of these guys is an absolute privilege. This is a special day for us.”
Any day is a special day when it involves a tribute to one of America’s fallen heroes. Spc. Jason Disney is most definitely one of our heroes. He chose to serve our nation during a time of war.
His flag serves as a sacred reminder of not only his sacrifice, but the sacrifice of all who have fallen in service to our nation. He will not be forgotten.