Mourning the Loss of a Fighter, Father, and Marine
The Marines lost a great flyer last week. Here’s to Taj Sareen, fighter, father–Marine.
Click HERE to support a memorial fund for his daughter, Jade.
“When this life I’m in is done, and at the gates I stand, my hope is that I
answer all the questions on command. I doubt I’ll be asked of my fame, or all the things I knew. Instead, did I witness the rainbows on rainy days I flew. The hours logged, the status reached, the ratings will not matter. Did I notice the sun’s rays on the lakes that scattered. Or what about the droplets clear, that spread across my screen? And the twinkling eyes of
student pilots keen? How fast, how far, how high? I won’t be asked these
things. But did I take the time to watch the moonbeams wash my wings? And did I see the patchwork fields the mirrored lakes below? Or the mountains high and velvet hills? Of these did I behold? And when the goals are reached at last. When all the flying’s done. I’ll answer with no regret – Indeed! I had some fun. So when these things are asked of me, and I can reach no higher. My prayer this day with hands extended, please welcome home this Flyer.”¹
Someday we will know, where the pilots go
When their work on earth is through.
Where the air is clean, and the engines gleam,
And the skies are always blue.
They have flown alone, with the engine’s moan,
As they sweat the great beyond,
And they take delight, at the awesome sight
of the world spread far and yon.
Yet not alone, for above the moan, when the earth is
out of sight,
As they make their stand, He takes their hand,
and guides them through the night.
How near to God are these men of sod,
Who step near death’s last door?
Oh, these men are real, not made of steel,
But He knows who goes before,
And how they live, and love and are beloved,
But their love is most for air.
And with death about, they will still fly out,
And leave their troubles there.
He knows these things, of men with wings,
And He knows they are surely true.
And He will give a hand, to such a man
‘Cause He’s a pilot too.²
¹Patrick J. Phillips, “A Flyer’s Prayer,” Aviation Poetry, accessed October 22, 2015, http://www.flyersprayer.com/flyersprayer.html
About Jason B. Ladd
Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.