Remembering A Fallen Hero - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/27/04 - San Augustine

Remembering A Fallen Hero

"Charles had a real passion for flying and really enjoyed the work that he was doing, and he believed in the work that he was doing very much. I don't think you will find a more caring individual anywhere in the Texas Forest Service, or for that matter in the state of Texas," said Charles "Boo" Walker, the Texas Forest Service Aviation Manager.

"Since that time I have had the opportunity to visit with Mrs. Krenek. I've had the opportunity to meet Buz Mier's family and to get to know them, and it just validates what a very special person Charles Krenek was and also what a special person Buz Meir was," said Gay Ippolito, of the Texas Forest Service.

The night the accident occurred, everyone was caught off guard, and to make matters worse, the forest where the helicopter crashed along Highway 705 was so dense, searchers had to use 4-wheelers to cut a path to the wreckage.

"It still doesn't feel like it's real. Every day I think about Charles coming and going. There's not a day that passes that I don't remember Charles. He and I kind of had a thing for feeding birds, and I noticed that the birdfeeder was empty one day and there wasn't a whole lot of birds paying much attention to that area anymore. So we moved the birdfeeder to a more central location, and kinda carried on the tradition of feeding the birds by keeping it stocked up," said Walker.

By keeping the feeder stocked up, they will never truly forget their fallen friend.

"He taught us very valuable lessons, and I'm sure that if he was here today he would still be teaching us lessons. There is a lot of cultures that believe that if you don't forget somebody, they will never go away, and that's kind of how I feel about Charles," said Walker.

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