Sunday, August 8, 2010

So Close To Home...

So often we read these tragic stories of fallen warriors. Every once in a while, these stories hit close to home. Major Michael Freyholtz grew up in the small town my friend Laraine now lives. Laraine attends Sunday Services with the family of this brave soldier. I ask that you join me in prayer for this fallen hero, his family and the entire community of Hines, Minnesota as they feel the loss of a son.

Major Michael H. Freyholtz
(Brother to Susan Rock)
Major Michael H. Freyholtz of the Alaska Air National Guard, 34, of Hines, MN, died July 28, 2010 in the crash of a C-17 aircraft at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 14, 2010 at the Blackduck High School.

Mike was born July 22, 1976 in Bemidji, MN to Harvey and Mary Freyholtz of Hines. He was a 1994 graduate of Blackduck High.School. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1998. He joined the U.S. Air Force in May 1998 and received his officer commission as a 2nd Lieutenant through the ROTC. He attended pilot training at Vance Air Force Base where he received his Air Force pilot wings in May 2000.

He was selected to fly the C-17 Globemaster III out of pilot training and attended initial C-17 qualification training at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. While on active duty, he was stationed at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, and McChord Air Force Base, Washington, as a C-17 Aircraft Commander, Instructor Pilot and Flight Examiner.

He left active duty to move to Alaska and joined the Alaska Air National Guard in May of 2007. He was the first outside pilot hired for the new 249th Airlift Squadron and was highly instrumental in its stand up. He was a very highly regarded C-17 pilot and the unit’s first C-17 Flight Examiner Pilot and Air Show Demonstration pilot. Most recently, he accompanied the United States Air Force Thunderbirds throughout the Pacific and demonstrated the capabilities of the C-17 to thousands of air show spectators.

He accumulated more than 3,500 military flying hours in the T-37, T-1 and C-17 aircraft. He flew 608 combat hours in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM, receiving the Air Medal.

He was the squadron’s foremost expert and pilot mentor in the C-17 and its mission. He leveraged his Boeing C-17 simulator training background to provide “beyond the book” training for pilots in both squadrons. Mike had an amazing mind. He used his degree in physics to solve theoretical flying related mathematical problems; conversely, he had an artistic side where he drew professional quality pencil pictures.
Mike was a beloved family man and father of two – a son, Trevor and daughter, Fiona. He enjoyed nothing more than family activities. He helped coach his son’s Little League baseball team and in the winter, he had taken up snow machining and recently participated in the Arctic Man races. He built a custom home theatre in his basement and regularly hosted movie nights and social events for his many friends from both squadrons. He was also an avid photographer and his images are displayed in various buildings on Elmendorf Air Force Base.


Bag Blog said...

When you post a story of a fallen soldier, I almost don't want to read it - it just is painful. But I do pray for the families of these young soldiers. My heart hurts for them.

AirmanMom said...

bag blog...thank you so much for taking the time to read of our fallen soldiers. As difficult as it is to post and to read these is so important to know each and every soldier has a face, they have a name, they have a family...they must never be forgotten! My heart hurts so deeply for their families as well. Thank you!!!!!

DeanO said...

Yes - we will remember this dear Solider in prayer, his family and his loved ones

Sarge Charlie said...

very sorry about your friends brother, we are blessed to have men like him to protect us. I agree that it is important for America to know these young men who defend us.

Karyn said...

Airman mom- thank you for the post about Major Freyholz. My son is a loadmaster on the 17- and possibly knew some of the men on the plane, my youngest a crew chief in Wyoming- and members of his squadron also knew them. In honor of Maj Fryholz I did copy his info- giving you complete credit and inviting my readers to follow your blog. Peace to all our brave men and women.


AirmanMom said...

deanO...I do appreciate your visit!

AirmanMom said...

sarge...each of our fallen deserve our respect and their families need our prayers.