ARIA 328 Memorial Foundation November   15,   2014   marked   the   third   anniversary   of   the   death   of   David   Denn.   Most of you have not heard his name or know his story. David was the beginning. It   started   with   an   email   message.   The   email   David   sent   was   simply   testing   the waters   with   the   receiver.   It   was   only   when   a   second   email   arrived   that   his   true   intent was revealed. David    had    recovered    personally    identifiable    items    from    the    crash    site    of    the Advanced   Range   Instrumentation   Aircraft   61-0328   following   the   crash   after   the   Air Force   had   completed   the   investigation.   He   wanted   to   have   these   items   returned   to the   families   if   they   wanted   them.   It   had   been   23   years   since   the   crash;   he   needed help. His   first   attempt   was   in   the   form   of   a   telephone   call   to   Fort   Detrick   in   1981.   Fort Detrick   was   just   a   short   distance   from   his   home   in   Walkersville,   Maryland.   The   man on   the   other   end   of   the   line   told   him   that   he   just   needed   to   throw   these   items   away because   no   one   would   want   them.   David   was   discouraged   but   knew   that   disposing of the items was not the right thing to do. David was 12 years old. I   was   David’s   first   contact.   He   offered   to   send   the   items   to   me.   I   was   suspicious   of him    and    his    motives    and    really    never    expected    to    receive    anything.    It    was    a Saturday   morning   when   the   package   arrived.   I   brought   the   package   in   the   house and placed it on the dining room table. I could not bring myself to open it. It   wasn’t   until   late   that   evening   that   I   sat   down   at   the   dining   room   table.   Upon opening   the   package   it   was   quite   evident   the   care   that   was   given   in   the   packing   of the   items.   There   was   an   odor   emanating   from   the   box   that   is   best   described   as   a mix   of   jet   fuel   and   grease;   a   very   familiar   odor.   I   contacted   David   and   promised   him that   I   would   attempt   to   contact   these   families   concerning   the   items   knowing   that   it would   be   very   difficult   for   me   to   complete   the   task. At   this   point   it   had   been   23   years since   the   crash   of   ARIA   328   and   the   reality   of   opening   old   wounds   was   a   major concern. I   was   successful   in   returning   2   of   the   3   items   with   the   one   family   declining.   The   first item   was   a   dog   tag.   The   name   on   the   dog   tag   was   Charles   Emilio.   He   was   one   of the   pilots   aboard ARIA   328.   Major   Emilio   and   his   wife   were   on   board ARIA   328   due to   an   Air   Force   program   called   “Have   Partner.”   The   intent   of   the   program   was   to orient   the   spouses   of   officers   and   enlisted   in   their   job   duties   to   improve   retention   of these individuals in the Air Force. The   daughter   of   Major   and   Peggy   Emilio   received   her   father’s   dog   tag   just   months prior   to   her   wedding.   She   carried   her   father’s   dog   tag   with   her   down   the   aisle   at   her wedding.   She   was   just   a   small   child   when   she   lost   her   parents.   She   felt   that   her parents were with her on her wedding day. The   second   item   was   the   flight   suit   name   patch   from   First   Lieutenant   Charles Edward Gratch. This item was received with open arms to his grateful parents. These   events   were   only   possible   because   of   David   Denn   reaching   out   to   help strangers.   What   I   didn’t   know   was   that   David   had   a   secret.   This   secret   had   never been   shared   with   anyone   up   to   this   point   in   time.   This   secret   was   a   burden   on   his heart that at times would consume him. I   introduced   a   group   of   ARIA   alumni   to   David   Denn   in   Walkersville   not   long   after these   events.   There   were   a   number   of   us   including   David   that   agreed   to   accept   the task   of   building   a   memorial   for   ARIA   328   in   Walkersville,   Maryland.   The   ARIA   328 Memorial   Foundation   became   established   with   the   task   to   construct   the   ARIA   328 Memorial in Walkersville, Maryland. I   met   with   the   Town   of   Walkersville   presenting   them   with   my   concept   of   the   ARIA 328   Memorial   which   included   concept   pictures   and   information   on   the   Advanced Range   Instrumentation   Aircraft   program.   It’s   wasn’t   long   before   we   were   looking   at maps   to   find   the   best   location   for   the   memorial.   We   were   graciously   given   a   site that same evening to place the memorial. From    the    start,    the    response    for    donations    of    memorial    bricks    to    support    the construction   of   the   memorial   was   far   less   than   spectacular.   The   response   from   the over   700   ARIA   alumni   was   disappointing.   Memorial   Coins   were   offered   to   raise money.   With   the   return   on   the   investment   after   expenses   it   became   evident   that   this was not going to provide the funds required to build the memorial. There   were   week   long   stays   at   the   annual   Walkersville   carnival   promoting   the construction    of    the    memorial    at    the    ARIA    Memorial    booth.    My    expenses    far exceeded    any    donations.    There    were    many    trips    from    my    house    in    Ohio    to Maryland   to   be   interviewed   by   television   networks   to   raise   awareness   of   our   cause. At   one   of   the   interviews   I   witnessed   a   Walkersville   official   brought   to   tears   by   the reporter   wanting   to   know   more   about   the   condition   of   the   found   bodies   than   the promotion   of   the   memorial.   This   had   been   the   first   time   this   official   had   returned   to the field where he had responded to in 1981 as a firefighter. When ARIA   61-0328   crashed   in   that   farmers   field   in   Walkersville   the   fire   department was   not   the   first   responder   at   the   accident   site.   The   first   responder   was   a   12   year old   boy   named   David   Denn.   This   was   the   secret   that   he   had   never   shared   with   his family.   This   12   year   old   boy   witnessed   firsthand   many   of   our   ARIA   family   in   their final   resting   place   in   that   field   which   burdened   his   heart   throughout   his   life.   When he   did   return   home   that   night   from   the   crash   scene   he   took   his   fuel   soaked   clothes and    mixed    them    with    his    brother’s    clothes.    His    brother    was    one    of    the    first responders   from   the   fire   department.   He   did   this   to   conceal   the   fact   that   he   had been at the crash site. David   openly   shared   information   to   the ARIA   community   that   would   have   been   lost forever.   Information   that   touched   so   many   lives   in   such   a   positive   way.   David   took   a chance   risking   being   hurt   to   help   others.   His   selfless   act   allowed   some   of   those hurting   to   continue   the   healing   process   and   attempt   to   close   this   chapter   of   their life.   In   David’s   11th   hour   of   life   people   that   David   had   helped,   and   informed   of   his condition, just simply dismissed him. David   blamed   himself   that   the   memorial   was   not   completed.   My   words   to   the contrary   did   not   ease   his   pain.   David   died   a   painful   and   restless   death   that   was difficult   for   his   family   to   watch.   He   had   unfinished   business.   He   fought   his   death until   the   cancer   consumed   him.   I   was   comforted   only   in   the   fact   that   he   was   met   in heaven   by   21   of   our   ARIA   family   and   that   the   burden   he   carried   in   his   heart   was forever released. He was 42. Not   long   after   the   ARIA   328   Memorial   Foundation   was   formed   those   that   had agreed    to    become    part    of    the    Foundation    did    not    follow    through    with    their commitment.   The   Foundation   only   consisted   of   3   members.   I   was   the   only   member directly   affiliated   with   the   ARIA   program.   Others   interested   in   construction   of   the memorial   simply   stopped   returning   emails   and   phone   calls.   Some   lasted   longer than others. In the end it was just David and I. I   was   asked   to   lunch   from   an   ARIA   alumnus.   He   presented   his   plan   to   achieve   the construction   of   the   memorial   in   Walkersville   with   an   alternative   design,   and   with   a new   group   of   personnel   to   head   the   effort.   He   presented   a   list   of   names   with   titles for   the   individuals. The   most   interesting   part   of   this   document   was   that   these   people were   from   the   original   group   that   initially   agreed   to   help   in   the   construction   of   the memorial.   My   first   thought   was   what   has   changed?   Why   after   all   of   these   years   are they are willing to commit again to this project? In   his   plan   I   was   to   be   included   in   this   group   but   in   reality   the   expectation   was   for me   to   provide   donations   received   from   the   ARIA   328   Memorial   Foundation   to   fund this   group   for   their   memorial.   The   problem   was   that   this   group   is   not   affiliated   with the ARIA   328   Memorial   Foundation.   I   cannot   make   the   decision   to   use   these   funds for   anything   other   than   what   was   originally   presented   to   the   donors.   The   alternate design    eliminated    many    memorial    elements    in    which    donations    were    received specifically for. Using these funds in any other manner would not be acceptable. For   the   past   3   years   since   the   death   of   David   Denn   I   have   been   struggling   with events   surrounding   his   death.   My   wife   and   I   drove   to   Maryland   to   meet   with   David and   his   wife   Karen   prior   to   his   death.   This   visit   was   not   to   discuss   the   memorial   but to   see   firsthand   how   David   was   doing.   David   was   far   down   the   road   on   treatment options   and   both   my   wife   and   I   knew   this   would   be   the   last   time   we   would   see   him alive.   I   had   a   question   that   I   needed   to   ask   him   but   was   embarrassed   to   ask because   in   my   heart   I   knew   the   answer.   I   asked   him   if   any   ARIA   alumni/or   family had   contacted   him   and   he   told   me   no.   With   his   permission   I   had   provided   updates of   his   health   in   the   monthly ARIA   328   Memorial   newsletters.   I   sent   emails   and   made phone   calls   to   some   suggesting   that   they   get   in   touch   with   David   because   it   would have   meant   a   lot   to   him.   I   was   hoping   that   those   that   David   had   helped   would contact him in his time of need. Again, he was simply dismissed. My   decision   not   to   pursue   construction   of   the   memorial   and   to   return   donations   for this   cause   was   influenced   by   this   fact. This   year’s   anniversary   of   David’s   death   was the    turning    point    for    me.    I    personally    cannot    be    affiliated    with    the    new    group knowing that some of its members simply dismissed David in his time of need. It   is   not   my   decision   on   how   to   use   donations   received   from   the ARIA   328   Memorial Foundation   to   fund   anything   different   than   what   was   originally   presented   to   those that donated. I want to thank everyone that has given their support with heartfelt gratitude.
Aircraft 61-0328 Memorial
 ARIAMemorial.com  Copyright © 2001-2017 Randy L. Losey All other works Copyright © by their perspective owners
Advanced Range Instrumentation
     United States Air Force
ARIA 328 Memorial Foundation November   15,   2014   marked   the   third   anniversary   of   the death   of   David   Denn.   Most   of   you   have   not   heard   his name or know his story. David was the beginning. It   started   with   an   email   message.   The   email   David   sent was   simply   testing   the   waters   with   the   receiver.   It   was only   when   a   second   email   arrived   that   his   true   intent was revealed. David   had   recovered   personally   identifiable   items   from the   crash   site   of   the   Advanced   Range   Instrumentation Aircraft   61-0328   following   the   crash   after   the   Air   Force had    completed    the    investigation.    He    wanted    to    have these   items   returned   to   the   families   if   they   wanted   them. It had been 23 years since the crash; he needed help. His   first   attempt   was   in   the   form   of   a   telephone   call   to Fort    Detrick    in    1981.    Fort    Detrick    was    just    a    short distance   from   his   home   in   Walkersville,   Maryland.   The man   on   the   other   end   of   the   line   told   him   that   he   just needed    to    throw    these    items    away    because    no    one would   want   them.   David   was   discouraged   but   knew   that disposing   of   the   items   was   not   the   right   thing   to   do. David was 12 years old. I   was   David’s   first   contact.   He   offered   to   send   the   items to   me.   I   was   suspicious   of   him   and   his   motives   and really    never    expected    to    receive    anything.    It    was    a Saturday   morning   when   the   package   arrived.   I   brought the   package   in   the   house   and   placed   it   on   the   dining room table. I could not bring myself to open it. It   wasn’t   until   late   that   evening   that   I   sat   down   at   the dining   room   table.   Upon   opening   the   package   it   was quite   evident   the   care   that   was   given   in   the   packing   of the   items.   There   was   an   odor   emanating   from   the   box that   is   best   described   as   a   mix   of   jet   fuel   and   grease;   a very   familiar   odor.   I   contacted   David   and   promised   him that   I   would   attempt   to   contact   these   families   concerning the   items   knowing   that   it   would   be   very   difficult   for   me   to complete   the   task.   At   this   point   it   had   been   23   years since   the   crash   of   ARIA   328   and   the   reality   of   opening old wounds was a major concern. I   was   successful   in   returning   2   of   the   3   items   with   the one   family   declining.   The   first   item   was   a   dog   tag.   The name   on   the   dog   tag   was   Charles   Emilio.   He   was   one   of the   pilots   aboard   ARIA   328.   Major   Emilio   and   his   wife were   on   board   ARIA   328   due   to   an   Air   Force   program called   “Have   Partner.”   The   intent   of   the   program   was   to orient   the   spouses   of   officers   and   enlisted   in   their   job duties   to   improve   retention   of   these   individuals   in   the Air Force. The   daughter   of   Major   and   Peggy   Emilio   received   her father’s   dog   tag   just   months   prior   to   her   wedding.   She carried   her   father’s   dog   tag   with   her   down   the   aisle   at her   wedding.   She   was   just   a   small   child   when   she   lost her   parents.   She   felt   that   her   parents   were   with   her   on her wedding day. The   second   item   was   the   flight   suit   name   patch   from First   Lieutenant   Charles   Edward   Gratch.   This   item   was received with open arms to his grateful parents. These    events    were    only    possible    because    of    David Denn   reaching   out   to   help   strangers.   What   I   didn’t   know was   that   David   had   a   secret.   This   secret   had   never been   shared   with   anyone   up   to   this   point   in   time.   This secret   was   a   burden   on   his   heart   that   at   times   would consume him. I   introduced   a   group   of   ARIA   alumni   to   David   Denn   in Walkersville   not   long   after   these   events.   There   were   a number   of   us   including   David   that   agreed   to   accept   the task   of   building   a   memorial   for ARIA   328   in   Walkersville, Maryland.   The   ARIA   328   Memorial   Foundation   became established    with    the    task    to    construct    the   ARIA    328 Memorial in Walkersville, Maryland. I   met   with   the   Town   of   Walkersville   presenting   them   with my   concept   of   the   ARIA   328   Memorial   which   included concept    pictures    and    information    on    the    Advanced Range   Instrumentation   Aircraft   program.   It’s   wasn’t   long before   we   were   looking   at   maps   to   find   the   best   location for   the   memorial.   We   were   graciously   given   a   site   that same evening to place the memorial. From   the   start,   the   response   for   donations   of   memorial bricks   to   support   the   construction   of   the   memorial   was far   less   than   spectacular.   The   response   from   the   over 700   ARIA    alumni    was    disappointing.    Memorial    Coins were   offered   to   raise   money.   With   the   return   on   the investment   after   expenses   it   became   evident   that   this was   not   going   to   provide   the   funds   required   to   build   the memorial. There   were   week   long   stays   at   the   annual   Walkersville carnival   promoting   the   construction   of   the   memorial   at the   ARIA   Memorial   booth.   My   expenses   far   exceeded any   donations.   There   were   many   trips   from   my   house   in Ohio    to    Maryland    to    be    interviewed    by    television networks   to   raise   awareness   of   our   cause. At   one   of   the interviews   I   witnessed   a   Walkersville   official   brought   to tears   by   the   reporter   wanting   to   know   more   about   the condition   of   the   found   bodies   than   the   promotion   of   the memorial.   This   had   been   the   first   time   this   official   had returned   to   the   field   where   he   had   responded   to   in   1981 as a firefighter. When   ARIA    61-0328    crashed    in    that    farmers    field    in Walkersville    the    fire    department    was    not    the    first responder   at   the   accident   site. The   first   responder   was   a 12   year   old   boy   named   David   Denn. This   was   the   secret that   he   had   never   shared   with   his   family.   This   12   year old   boy   witnessed   firsthand   many   of   our   ARIA   family   in their   final   resting