December 04, 2006

Maj. Troy L. Gilbert, Rest in Peace

The U.S. military has officially listed Maj. Troy L. Gilbert as KIA. The pilot of a downed F-16 had been previously listed as "duty status whereabouts unknown".

The change came after DNA testing confirmed that a body shown in a video made by Iraqis with ties to the Sunni insurgency was that of Gilbert's. A cell of the al Qaeda umbrella group, The Islamic State of Iraq, claimed to have shot down the plane with a Soviet made surface to air missile. While an investigation into the crash is ongoing, military sources have stated that it was unlikely Gilbert's airplane was brought down by enemy fire.

Maj. Troy L. Gilbert will be missed by all who knew him. Speaking for those that did not, we are grateful for his sacrifice and send our prayers and condolences to them.

Howie found that a fund has been set up in his honor by The Bank of Clovis, the Clovis News Journal and the Portales News-Tribune--all in New Mexico. Another fund has been set up by friends at the Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.


"Troy was first and foremost a wonderful husband and father, whose Christian faith, personal values and work ethic guided his personal life and his career as a military officer," said the statement read to reporters during a news conference at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, where Gilbert was based. "He was highly respected and deeply loved by so many.

"At the time of the tragedy during combat operations, he was unselfishly protecting the lives of other American military members. We, his family, cherish the worldwide prayers and support during this extremely difficult time."

Many of Troy's friends have left comments about him on our previous post. Some of the comments are directed towards two Muslim reader from the Netherlands who celebrated Maj. Gilbert's death. Here is a sampling.

Samuel: "I want to send out my condolences to the family of Maj Gilbert. I had the honor of working with him at Aviano and I also worked on 776 ,the aircraft he was flying, many times. It angers me that these Islamic Fascist SOBs are able to get away with this. I hope our friends on the ground hunt these guys down and give them all they deserve."

Brandon: "I knew Maj Gilbert when I was in Aviano along with [..] who posted earlier. He was one of the nicest pilots and best pilots we had there. I can't believe you have the audacity to post crap like that. I think that you should be kicked out of this country if you live here. If you don't live here, I would like to personally track you down and put my foot right up your @$$. We all hope that Maj. Gilbert is still alive, and if not may he rest in peace."

Heartsong: "To Maj. Troy Gilbert's Wife, his five children, all his Family and friends,

May God bless him for giving the ultimate sacrifice and may God guide and bestow loads of blessings and graces on all his loved ones every day of their lives and may you "walk on golden streets with him in the New Jerusalem" when God calls them to their eternal destiny.

Gilbert's family issued a statement Wednesday praising him as a husband, father and military officer and noting that at the time of the crash, he was protecting the lives of other service members.

Kenny: Troy was my second cousin, and although I never had the pleasure of meeting him, I know that his family was so proud of his accomplishments by listnening to his Uncle, whom works with me daily. Troy was a devoted father to his 5 children and a loving husband to his beautiful wife Ginger. This is so sad! He has 9 month old twins that will never know their father, but through memories of their older 3 siblings. This is to Ginger, Kaye, Ronnie, and the 5 kids----I pray that you all can get this behind you in knowing that Troy was one of the finest that our Nation had, and that he will be in Heaven looking down on you every minute. God Bless you all

Kenny: Rhonda, I am sorry that I left you out of my firs post. I know that you are so proud of what your brother stood for, and hope that God Blesses you with the strength to get through his. I have never met you, but heard so much about you from Don. My deepest sympathies are with you during this terrible time in your life.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:56 AM | Comments |