FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 1, 1998
PALMDALE AIRMAN BURIED AT ARLINGTON
McKeon Comments Placed in Congressional Record
WASHINGTON — Airman First Class Justin C. Wotasik, 19, of Palmdale, one of 12 members of the 66th Rescue Squadron who were killed in a September 3, 1998 helicopter crash at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, was laid to rest today at Arlington National Cemetery.
Wotasik's parents and other family members, along with family members of three other crash victims, attended the burial service, which was performed on a bright, breezy afternoon. The deceased crew members were buried with full military honors.
U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, remembered Wotasik with remarks that were submitted into the Congressional Record. The text of McKeon's remarks are as follows:
“Mr. Speaker, I speak today to honor the life of a dedicated young man who died while serving his country. Airman First Class Justin Christopher Wotasik was one of 12 persons killed last month in a helicopter collision near Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. His unit, the 66th Rescue Squadron, was involved in a training exercise when the crash occurred.
Justin graduated in 1996 from Palmdale High School and was an Eagle Scout who attended the 1993 National Scout Jamboree in Virginia. He was one of those rare individuals who at a young age had a profound sense of purpose and knew what he wanted to do with his life. In his brief life, he served as an inspiration to others while symbolizing the dedication shared by many young men and women who pursue a military career.
Justin, who would have celebrated his 20th birthday this month, was buried today in Arlington National Cemetery. Justin, for all you did and all you stood for, thank you and may God bless you.”
May 5, 1999
Our son Justin C. Wotasik is buried at Arlington and listed on your list. He was a Pararescueman (PJ) and we were wondering if that information could be added to his name. We were also wondering if you had a list of all of the pararescuemen, “PJ's” buried at Arlington. We were there last week because the grave marker was up. The place is impressive.
I went through the list and 4 of the 6 guys in the group grave where Justin is buried are not listed. Armour, Harewell, Stewart and Youngblood are not listed. Only Milton and Wotasik are. Justin was the only PJ, Milton was a pilot, so was Youngblood. Armour was an FE and Stewart was an FE, and Harewell was a going to be rescue pilot someday. I'm attaching a picture of the gravemarker so you have all the correct info. Once again thanks!
Gary and Julie Wotasik
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
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