highfight

I lost a friend today.

We have lost a friend, a father, husband — a comrade in arms. Fellow aviator and blogger-at-arms, Neptunus Lex, was killed earlier today when the F-21 Kfir he was flying in support of Top Gun’s adversary squadron crashed at NAS Fallon.  No word on the cause as yet.  Prayers and thoughts go out to his family — please likewise keep them in your prayers in the days/weeks to come.

Lex would be the first to tell you, upon asking (or not), that he was a fighter pilot.  And he was an accomplished one at that – having reached the pinnacle with command of a Hornet squadron and XO at TOPGUN (“not two words” he would say…).  He was a sailor at heart with a love for the sea and those who set forth thereon in grey-hulled ships – befitting of one who wore the gold wings of a naval aviator.  And he was a patriot in the truest and traditional sense with a deep love for this country and her people.  Indeed, his last work in this life was training a new generation of fighters to defend this nation.

Even so, what really set Lex apart was his eloquence, obvious love of the classics and an abilty to turn a phrase that would do his Irish ancestors proud.  Anyone who has spent time in the air or at sea comes to appreciate the change in perspective those alluring mistresses offer and how they come to change you.  It is the rare person, however, who is able to more than adequately express and convey that imagery, that perspective.  Lex was one of those rare individuals and you could readily see it in his work – almost all of which he shared gratis online.  Whether it was a semi-fictional account of a young aviator wrestling with carrier flight ops or surgical disection of a controversial subject, his wit, grace and command of the language marked him as a finely honed rapier in a field cluttered with dull broadswords and broken battle axes.  And it will be missed.

The time will come when we will take position and give our formal farewells with appropriate ceremony.  For now, I’ll leave with this thought from a fellow naval aviator and friend – part of a discourse from last night…

” We are, actually, pretty few, and we count our fellows as friends of a different sort.. And so when one of us leaves, it is noticed. It is one thing to fade, fade away. It is another to be taken by the mistress, to be here, and then gone. I thought she was done with leaving me to count. So I thought.”

I too thought my counting days finished – alas not so…

Fair winds Lex and God bless and uphold your family.  We’ll meet you at the rendezvous point…on the other side at the Green.

w/r,

SJS

See Also:

USNI Blog (and here too) (also here) (SECNAV weighs in)

CDR Salamander

Instapinch

Steve @ The Woodshed

AW1

XbradTC

Padre’s place

Skippy-san

and of course, over here at Lex’s place (courtesy of Whisper)

18 Comments

  1. Surfcaster

    SJS – Thank you

    Significant thoughts and prayers out to his family.

    I would add that there one LEXISM you could correct in your post, it would be TOPGUN, and you could add the (prestigious) Navy Fighter Weapons School.

  2. UltimaRatioRegis

    SJS,

    Wonderful words.

  3. Andy (JADAA)

    I would occasionally in jocularity tweak Lex for being a “mere Trade School graduate” when the subject of his beloved Naval Academy would come up, and my plebeian origins at Newport would naturally be flung right back at me. But in this case, as is fitting, I will let the voices from the Academy Glee Club have the last say in the matter.

    Lex, you are cleared for takeoff, maintain heading 270 degrees, second star to the right, straight on ’till morning. Cleared to climb unlimited. Switch to Departure, monitor Guard.

  4. Thanks for this post, SJS.

    I’m not a member of the fraternity but Lex was my blog-father and an occasional correspondent. Always the gentleman, ever the extraordinary presence, I will miss him deeply.

  5. Old AF Sarge

    Well said SJS, well said. Having a hard time believing that Lex, our beloved brother-in-arms won’t be lighting up my mornings anymore. Prayers for the LeFon family. And Lex, no need to check six anymore, the Lord’s got your back!

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