The deadly shooting at Pensacola Naval Air Station certainly hit hard.
I woke up last Friday, a little worse for wear. I was moving slow and somewhat dreading the busy workday ahead.
You wake up that way some days.
I’ve taken time to reflect on the various moments that passed through my experience last Friday. It was a day overtaken by the Pensacola shooting, at least for me.
Hell – While Lucinda and I were on air, I accidentally referred to Portland as Pensacola while I did the weather (woops!).
You see, Pensacola, FL is the last place I lived and worked. I lived and worked there for the better part of 7 years. It’s a beautiful place. It’s relatively small and quiet as well.
The LAST thing any Pensacola resident would ever expect to hear about is a terror-related shooting spree at the local navy base.
Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said it well;
“This doesn’t happen in Escambia County. This doesn’t happen in Pensacola.”
The quote from Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson;
“This is a tragic day for the city of Pensacola. We’re a military town. Our hearts and prayers are connected to those that serve us every day.”
Now, I was never great friends with military folks there, but I certainly had (and have) great respect for what they do.
I also have great respect for the foreign military service members who train alongside U.S. personnel at NAS Pensacola.
I met some Italian, Turkish, and Saudi pilots during my time there. GREAT folks – all of them.
It’s hard to imagine a military officer of ANY nation doing what that young man did last week.
But I still have respect for the hundreds of Saudi pilots who will now be forced to go through a pretty rough time.
Of course, I’m also remembering the service members killed. I offer my warmest thoughts for the families of U.S. Navy Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters, and Airman Mohammad Sameh Haitham.
I hope ya’ll can find joy this holiday season.