Hurlburt Field Loses Four Airmen in Djibouti Crash

The U-28A, seen in this file photo, is a single engine, manned fixed wing aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The casualties from Hurlburt Field, Florida include an Air Force pilot on his seventh deployment, another pilot on his fifth deployment, a lieutenant and an airman both on their third deployment.

The crew was killed when their U-28A crashed returning from a mission in the Horn of Africa in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

  • Capt. Ryan P. Hall, 30, of Colorado Springs, Colo.  He was assigned to the 319th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
  • Capt. Nicholas S. Whitlock, 29, of Newnan, Ga.  He was assigned to the 34th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
  • 1st Lt. Justin J. Wilkens, 26, of Bend, Ore.  He was assigned to the 34th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
  • Senior Airman Julian S. Scholten, 26, of Upper Marlboro, Md.  He was assigned to the 25th Intelligence Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.

You can read the media release from Air Force Special Operations Command HERE.

Blue Star Mom Ops Out of Watching “Act of Valor”

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09: (L-R) Active Navy Seals Sonny, Dave, Mikey, Duncan, Vano, Ray, Ajay and Rourke attend the New York premiere of Relativity Media's "Act Of Valor" at Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum on February 9, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Relativity Media) 2012 Getty Images

“I can not watch modern warfare movies as a Blue Star parent. It’s too hard,” wrote Claire, a Blue Star Mom, about the new movie “Act of Valor.” Claire contributes to the You Served Spouse &  Family blog.

Claire shared her personal fear that she might fall apart in the movie theater, but she set up a “guys night out” for others in her family to see the film that features active duty U.S. Navy SEALS portraying characters. A portion of Claire’s blog entry:

One part of me really wants to watch it out of sheer love and respect for the Heroes in it and for the story they are sharing. I think listening to the stories of our Veterans is one of way of showing them love and respect.

So, for the time being I wish all Act of Valor movie goers on Friday and beyond a thought provoking, respect gaining, and altogether wonderful time watching the story of real Heroes! I can’t wait to hear all about it. In the meantime this Blue Star mom will return to her position as prayer and morale support!

You can read Claire’s entry and other spouse blog entries HERE.

VA Social Media Directory: An Online Single Source

All the major social media is there: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, blogs and YouTube. The Department of Veterans Affairs has compiled a resource page of all of its VA Social Media.

Three VA Administrations

It’s clearly written broken down by the Department, the three separate administrations: Veterans Health, Veterans Benefits and National Cemetery Administration.

VA Medical Centers

There’s also a geographic listing of all VA Medical Centers. The directory is set up so you can check which location has an active Twitter account or blog. All appear to have their own Facebook page. You can click on the social media icon for that location and be taken directly the source.

Returning Service Members

And for OEF/OIF/OND Veterans (Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn) there’s a VA website to locate support for returning service members  including links for military families, National Guard and Reservists and active duty.

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