A Friend Dies in Afghanistan

I was packing up my condo Monday when the phone rang. It was Billy Shufeldt, one of my flight school friends, saying he was on his way to class and didn't have much time. Stump, he said, had died.

I couldn't quite process what I'd heard. Stump, our classmate from flight school. Dead. The guy I sat next to before graduation, the one who liked to play around at inopportune times. I asked Shufledt to repeat what he'd said.

"Stump has died. He was a pilot in the Chinook that crashed in Afghanistan Sunday before yesterday."

Dec., 2004, WO1 Adrian Stump (front row, second from left) and several members of his Officer Basic Course, pose for a photo at their Flight School Ball, the night before graduation. Ft. Rucker, AL (Lynda Payne -- Family Photo)
View Enlarged Photo

Stump was Warrant Officer 1 Adrian Stump, who'd served as a helicopter Crew Chief and then, because he wanted to fly, became a member of class 04-07, U.S. Army flight school, Fort Rucker.

To be honest, we didn't get along well for the first 6 months we knew each other. He was 20 when flight school started. I was 28 and didn't appreciate his sense of humor. I thought he always wanted to play around when he should have been more focused on our work.

Once, during a Physical Training (PT) session, I'd proposed a change to the training, suggesting we cut back on the number of hill sprints until we got a little more proficient. He scrunched up his face and repeated my words in a childish voice, mocking me.

"You are such a f****** kid!" I said, frustrated that he never took anything seriously, always resorting to his high school antics. "Grow up!"

We didn't speak for a few weeks. Then, at a friend's party, we got into it again. I confronted him, asking if he was still pissed at my outburst during PT a few weeks ago. His reply was typical of the 'kid' in him, "What do think? Huh?" I told him I was trying to help him, he asked what I'd meant when I called him a kid. I said joking around was just fine, but there are times when it was not acceptable. I also told him that he would understand what I meant in about five years.

By the end of flght school, Stump and I were on the same Survival Evasion Resistance Escape (SERE) team and I noticed he had grown up. He looked to me during one of our last classroom sessions and said he finally understood what I was talking about months ago. I told him I thought he wasn't the 'kid' I snapped at during PT.

I sat next to him waiting for flight school graduation in December, 2004. He went on to advanced Chinook Aircraft Qualification Course (AQC) and graduated from that in March, 2005. He loved flying so much he got special permission to join his Oregon Army National Guard unit even though it was already deployed in Afganistan.

If you're listening, Stump, then I want to say that I miss you. I'll always laugh when I think of Mr. Stuart and Spaceballs.

3 DEC 04 -- WO1 Adrian Stump (Left) and WO1 Stover minutes before acquiring their flight wings at US Army Flight School graduation, Ft. Rucker, AL (Lynda Payne -- Family Photo)
View Enlarged Photo

I encourage friends and others close to Stump to post comments and/or memories of him here, and if possible let his family know about this blog post. They might like to download these two photos of flight school graduation, since they could not make it to graduation from Oregon.

By Bert Stover |  October 6, 2005; 10:30 AM ET  | Category:  Misc.
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Posted by: Val | October 6, 2005 11:33 AM

Wow - what a touching piece. Reading your blog makes me vascillate between pride and fear. I am so proud of the men and women who risk their lives for others. In a pinch, a dark alley, I think I could and would risk my skin for a stranger - but voluteering to put yourself in harms way with so much time to reconsider - to me is amazing. What blind love.

And then I fear for all of us (humanity that is) that we still kill each other as a short-cut solution to problems, differences, fear. What an amazing absence of love. An "enemy" over there who is killed is their Stump - it's just so sad. What turns that ability for blind love into blind hatred?

I wish you, Stump, his family and the world love.

Posted by: Andrea - Besthesda, MD | October 6, 2005 11:50 AM

So sorry for the loss of your friend and another one of our great defenders. You are a good man.

Posted by: Elizabeth Kelly | October 6, 2005 11:53 AM

Losing your friend is very sad..This losing will let his presence in your mind forever...

Posted by: Pratyush | October 6, 2005 12:19 PM

People don't appreciate you all as much as you deserve. Losing a friend in combat or any other place is bad. I hope you will let his parents know what a fine soldier the flight school turned out and your respect for him.

Posted by: Frank | October 6, 2005 12:29 PM

Not trying to sound cruel, but he is going to be the first of many for you. Whether in peace or war, the military is a very dangerous business. Just treaure to moments you spend with comrades for they will only be memories of lives never fully lived.

Posted by: Hnorc | October 6, 2005 12:43 PM

My heart goes out to the Mother and Father who heard spelling words, memorized State capitals, drove to practice, punished and praised a child their child.

Andrea I'm with you...let us mourn all the 'Stumps' that fall.

Posted by: Margaret | October 6, 2005 12:48 PM

Sorry to hear about your buddy..

I lost a couple of "buds" back in 74 > Chuncheon Korea... they were in a UH-1H > making a "gun-run" on a convoy during a exercise [ARTEP] > the Huey hit a wire > rode up over the canopy > hit the mast > inverted the aircraft > and result was 7 KIA.. [wire not marked on the maps..]

Afghan flying is very unforgiving.. terraign in the mountains > no place to autorotate if you get into real trouble..

Posted by: kgl | October 6, 2005 12:53 PM

Today President Bush said (paraphrasing) that bin Laden did not have the courage of his own convictions. That bin Laden, born of wealth and privilge, would not expose
himself to the ultimate sacrifice for Islam as he urges poor, young Arabs to do. Yet Bush will not even ask for economic sacrifice from his privileged upper class to pay for the war, let alone ask for its young to die for the cause that Bush and the neo-cons ensured was so noble and worthwhile. This is another war fought by the United States' poor-- Black, White, and Hispanic. If Iraq is such a noble cause necessary to protect our children and grandchildren, why aren't the President's daughters in uniform. If Syria and Iran nurture and support Islamic terrorists operating in Iraq, why don't we just "take-out" both countries. There would be more justification for invading Iran and Syria than the initial invasion of Iraq. If we had stayed focused on Afghanistan, our mission may really have been accomplished and, for the most part, our sons and daughters would be home with us. Iraq weakened our abilities in Afghanistan. Therefore, Bush also made the decision for which others are making the ultimate sacrifice. Until Bush's ilk has to make real sacrifices (at least
econmic), they will rant and rave for more tax cuts and an end to the "death tax". Considering the rising death and wounded tolls in Afghanistan and Iraq I would be ashamed to use the spin words, "Death Tax". May God bless and comfort the Stump family and friends and the families of all the casualties of the war. They served for the United States when called upon. As in Viet Nam, they were the noble ones. Our leaders lied to us but that does not make WO Stump's life and death less honorable.

Posted by: Richard Bragg | October 6, 2005 12:58 PM

The sky, even more than the sea, is an unforgiving mistress. Once I shared a cup of coffee with an ex-Blue Angel, having made flag rank, after watching the a Blue Angels film in which he crashed his aircraft. I asked him if his squadron mates had the same sucess in their careers as he. His expression changed slightly and he replied, "Oh, no, they're all dead." All had been killed in one or another aircraft mishap.

Stump loved to fly. He died doing what he loved. Ain't nuthin' wrong about that except taking four other souls with him. Will your opinion of him change if the investigation comes back with "pilot error" as the cause of the crash?

Posted by: exJarhead | October 6, 2005 12:58 PM

As a fellow soldier serving in the Maryland National Guard, with friends deployed overseas I dread the day I receive that call. At 35 I am old man relative to some of the "kids" I serve with. Two of the "kids" I serve with are both 22. Our first deployment they were 20 and typical 20 year olds. When we started our deployment they too got on my nerves. But now, I trust them with my life and specifically request they be tasked to my squad.

Posted by: Jason | October 6, 2005 01:05 PM

The genuine tragedy of this young man's premature death is compounded by the fact he died in a campaign with the seriously mistaken name "Operation Enduring Freedom." For anyone who wants to know how the Afghans view the concept of an enduring freedom, read this report of widespread fraud in their most recent elections: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/03/international/asia/03afghan.html?hp&ex=1128312000&en=4893e9f8997a9431&ei=5094&partner=homepage

After nearly four years of the US military presence in Afghanistan, that country is still a shambles. I genuinely wish there was more discussion of that debacle.

The Post link cited above states the helicopter was not brought down by enemy fire. Is this another example of the third rate machinery and equipment which the DoD is tossing on the troops?

Posted by: E. Etage | October 6, 2005 01:10 PM

I commanded the Virginia Guard helicopter company around 20 years ago. I wish I could be deploying with you guys. Best of luck.

Posted by: john driscoll | October 6, 2005 01:22 PM

I feel your loss, Bert. Stump sounds like a good kid when you met him and a good man when he died. Some people never get the chance to grow up and realize their dream -- but he did. Take some solace in that. Stay safe.

Posted by: JohnMD | October 6, 2005 01:24 PM

Thank you for your touching piece on Stump. While I may not agree with why we are there, there is no question that our military is stocked with the bravest men and women the world has ever seen. Writing this must have been difficult and I thank you for allowing us to learn the story of another fallen brother who made the ultimate sacrifice without reservation or regret. Good men are indeed hard to find, and after reading this it pains me to know that we've lost one more.

Please take care and God bless you and the men and women you serve with. Come back safe.

Posted by: R | October 6, 2005 01:44 PM

Sorry to hear about your friend. Sounds like he lived a good life. Stay safe.

Posted by: Canajun | October 6, 2005 02:15 PM

May God Bless You All

Posted by: Bob ex USMC | October 6, 2005 03:28 PM

I honor you, Stump and those who served and are serving. I do not honor our leaders, whose unwise decision put all of you brave souls in harms way. May God Bless and Protect our Soldiers.

Posted by: Silent Majority | October 6, 2005 04:10 PM

Your article demonstrates your true allegiance to a friend, comrade, and fellow pilot. While all deaths are hard, those that take friends away are especially difficult for those left wondering: why him, not me? I would recommend taking comfort in the thought that he died for something he believed in, while doing something all pilots love; beating the air into submission while turning JP8 in to the sound of freedom. Stay safe yourself, and keep the rotor in the green.

Posted by: M C Matia | October 6, 2005 04:37 PM

Only by the grace of god did my husband, also an Army Warrant Officer, come home alive from Vietnam, despite two crashes, one of which killed his copilot. Even today, 34 years later, he still has difficult talking about it. I still don't know the details. I, too, salute you and Stump, as well as my son, now an Army ROTC college sophomore, for your willingness to serve in the truest sense of service. And I vow to do everything in my power to remove from office all those who make unwise, dangerous and un-educated decisions about how to wage battle. Let THEIR children volunteer and serve if it's that important, and their children be first in line.

Posted by: VIetnam Vet's wife | October 6, 2005 04:37 PM

Yet another example of the countless upstanding people of quality we're blessed to have in our armed forces. It makes me so angry that they're stuck with a comander in chief so unworthy of them. He is fit to neither polish nor lick their boots.

Posted by: Andy | October 6, 2005 05:20 PM

I'm sorry for your loss and think this is a great way to make sure Stump is not forgotten for what he has sacrificed. I was a penpal for a year with a soldier who was a buddy of my best friend's husband. They were in the same unit. Thankfully they came home safe and sound from their year long deployment in Afghanistan. It was hard sometimes to get his letters and read the emotions he was going through. But I was and still am always there for him if he needs me. I'd like to say thank you for your service.

Posted by: Stephanie M | October 6, 2005 05:22 PM

sorry for your loss. Stump sounds like my kind of guy. we went into the service as kids and figured out how our dads got so smart so quick. if i was younger, i would go myself. rc perkins jr, former usn bm2

Posted by: rc perkins jr | October 6, 2005 05:26 PM

I know he died doing what he wanted to do. He was full filling his life's dream. Sometimes life is cut too short.

Posted by: Tom C | October 6, 2005 06:03 PM

We just buried another one of the "kids" on that helicopter in Tucson yesterday morning.
With such promise, big smiles in all the photos strewn around the church. You just wonder what might have been.
The echos of many years ago ring in my ears. Taps played at my best friends funeral in 1969, killed in 'Nam.
All we can do is thank them for the ultimate sacrifice and wonder if the madness will ever end.

Posted by: Bud | October 6, 2005 07:56 PM

Don't let those who want to mix politics in with your wonderful tribute to a friend and brother in arms bother you. It is good and right of you to eulogize a person unknown to me. It is wrong of "them" to use his death for political commentary. A man has died doing his duty in the defense of his nation, please, do not soil that honor because you do not support this President or what he is doing. As a soldier who has been to Iraq twice I remind you all of the old saying "I may not agree with what you are saying, but I will fight to the death to defend your right to say it". There are times and places to state your political views, comments on the euology of a soldier, at least from this sodlier's point of view, are not the appropriate time.

Posted by: Chris | October 6, 2005 08:21 PM

May God bless you and WOPA (Warrant Officer Protection Association) take care of you. I was in your same pictures at Ft. Rucker 36 years ago this week when I received my Army Aviator's Wings with WORWAC 69-33. I went straight to Chinook Transition School and directly to Vietnam. I spent 32 years in uniform and I would do it again in a heart beat!!!

Posted by: Joe WORWAC 69-33 | October 6, 2005 08:25 PM

I am sorry about the loss of your friend. I was at the 85th Evac Hosp. in 66-67 in southeast Asia, you know where......and I can honestly say that I hurt for every loss then and now.

Do you know if his grandparents were from Allentown,Penn?

Posted by: Bob Taylor | October 6, 2005 09:04 PM

I recently returned to civilian life from reserve deployments to both Afghanistan and Iraq. At the time of the deployment I had served 8 years active and 8 in the reserves. I was an old man compared to most of the kids around me.

There were times when it was necessary to jump knee-deep into a few of the kiddies to remind them that this is not a game. Genrally, I was impressed with the young men and women under my command.

My God bless this kid's family. I can only hope that we honor all of the families that lossed loved ones with a free Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted by: JT | October 6, 2005 09:20 PM

It's real sad. God bless you all. I'm just an old crop duster

Posted by: sal | October 6, 2005 09:33 PM

May God bless Stump,you and all those who serve.

Posted by: g.a | October 6, 2005 10:01 PM

My sincere condolences to Stump's family and friends I certainly wish his buddies were all back home mission completed, Godspeed

Posted by: C | October 7, 2005 04:17 AM

Thanks and honor to you, Stump, and all those who fight for the Republic.

Posted by: Alexander | October 7, 2005 10:02 AM

I'm a disabled veteran, and my son has served in Iraq for 3 tours, thankfully coming through alive each time, though the 2nd time he nearly did not. I salute him, and I salute your friend and mate. He didn't go to Afghanistan to die, but to do what he believed was right and just. No sensible person likes war, fighting, killing or dying. Yet as long as there are evil people in this world hell-bent on bringing death to us, brave and patriotic Americans will rise to the challenge of defending this grand Republic against all who seek to tear it down. Regardless of what one thinks of the President's strategy and perspective of this global war against murderers, our soldiers have always risen to the challenge of defending us all when called upon. Godspeed and good luck to you as you deploy.

Posted by: chris | October 7, 2005 01:35 PM

It takes a special person to join the Military. At that point their family and friends only appreciate them. In times of war, everyone else realizes how special these people really are. I admire everyone in the Military and salute all their families for their sacrifice. I teach and remind my children everyday how much is sacrificed for our freedoms.

To Stump and all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, God Bless you and your families. You are indeed Heroes to Everyone in this great country. For my family, and me we do not have to know you personally to value your contribution to our freedoms; you did not know us to lay your life down. We owe you so much, so very much.

Always remembering.

Posted by: Jimmy | October 7, 2005 02:40 PM

exJarhead vomited:
Stump loved to fly. He died doing what he loved. Ain't nuthin' wrong about that except taking four other souls with him. Will your opinion of him change if the investigation comes back with "pilot error" as the cause of the crash?

That's ugly, and could very well explain the ex-"Jarhead" nick -- the brains got spilled out along with the vomit.

"Stomp" and any other pilot/aviator knows the responsibilities of flight and of their crew and passengers. Pilot error or not, when a aircraft goes down the dead are still human.

Disagree with the war all you like, but don't use the fallen for potshots, for you even disgrace humanity in your disregard for even the dead (we care for the dead for we're humane. When Mankind forgets to, he's no longer human).

Stomp's at a better helipad now. And flight doesn't come from strapping on an aircraft, either.


Posted by: SandyK | October 8, 2005 05:03 AM

Bert, I graduated from flight school with class 04-02 on 02SEP04. I am a member of the Oregon Guard's Blackhawk Medivac Company which is in the same battalion as Adrian's Chinook Detachment. I didn't know you guys at school, but I recognize you and Stump from the included pictures. I'm sure we passed each other many times at PT, the flight line and the class rooms. I just wanted to express my condolences on the loss of your friend. As you wrote, Adrian matured to become a man at flight school. He most certainly died a man by standing up and fighting for what he believed was right. I'm very sorry. Keep the greasy side down,


Posted by: Bill | October 10, 2005 02:16 PM

I knew Stump when I went to AIT. He went chinook and I went blackhawk, but we always had the "national guard" bond when everyone else bragged about being active. I was slightly shocked to see him eating dinner one night in the dining facility at Ft. Rucker. I quickly sat down and we caught up over the next hour. He was so pumped about the chinook, calling it "bad-ass" every chance he got. Not until this past Sunday did I know he had lost his life, or that he was even in Afghanistan. My fear of seeing a friend listed KIA in the Army Times finally came true, and I know it won't be the first. There's no doubt in my mind he's in heaven now, there's no other place for a man like that. One instance that demonstrated his character was at AIT when they asked who would like to compete in the 6 mile forced march competition, the most difficult part of the military challenge weekend. Stump was all over it while others cowered away. He ate it up like everything else he did in the army. God bless you Adrian.

Posted by: Adam | October 10, 2005 07:25 PM

If I were Stump's Mom, I would be more than grateful to you for eulogizing my son and attempting to find his family. She would get a laugh out of the "kid" part and be thrilled that you came to admire him. Not being this, I do want to thank you for a beautifully written piece that says so much about our fighting men and women.Take good care of yourself wherever you may go.

Posted by: Jo | October 11, 2005 05:26 PM

WO Stover, Thank you so much for posting. Adrian's mom, Anne, is my lovely sister (Adrian Stump my nephew). Your kind words and memories are treasured. The community outpouring and support in Pendleton, Oregon (Adrian's home town) has been tremendous. He was like no other and will be missed beyond description. But what incredible memories he gave us all. I have printed your post and the pics for their family (Mom and Dad - Anne and Jerry and sibs Riley, Molly and Julie).
Maureen Filipek Portland, OR

Posted by: Maureen Filipek | October 12, 2005 02:17 AM

What is wrong with you?

You would feel shame for your post. Had you been privied to the comments of the many pilots from 113th and the Gaurd hanger who stopped by the Stump home to pay respects "he was better than me, the best of all of us, I will have him with me from this point forward, he will be telling me what to do next...."

BTW, Confirmed enemy fire.

Posted by: Maureen Filipek | October 12, 2005 02:35 AM

WO Stover, I appreciate your tribute to WO Stump. His death is far reaching. I will grieve his loss for the rest of my life as I know many others will.

Adrian Stump liked to have fun and joke around, which would leave you to believe he needed to grow up if you didn't know him. It doesn't surprise me that WO Stover and Adrian became friends and that Adrian looked up to him. I had the same experience for the past 12 years with him. I'd like to note that I have observed some very grown up actions from him - beginning at the young age of 17, he would take the time to say 'thank you' to any veteran he met, including my grandfather. This is something I witnessed frequently.
If you knew his Dad and Mom, you would see that the fruit didn't fall far from the tree. They are both kids at heart, which I admire. Adrian and his siblings are a testament to great parenting, something that they do effortlessly. For as long as I can remember, people have drawn to the Stump family. The Stumps are like a magnet for fun and laughter in our community. There is never a dull moment at their home and on their outings - Shooting hoops, playing guitars, watching Ben Stiller movies, playing cards, backpacking, hunting, fishing going to home town sporting events.

Adrian loved helicopters and he wanted to be there flying with his 'brothers' in his unit. He was the youngest pilot in Company D, 113th Aviation Battalion. I take comfort in knowing that he was living his dream. I wish he could have stayed a lot longer because we were all looking forward to having him around.

This is the best article I've seen about WO Stump http://www.tri-cityherald.com/tch/local/story/7029256p-6932180c.html
- you may have to copy and paste it.

I appreciate my freedom and I love my country. Thank you American soldiers for defending those values.

Rob Naughton

Posted by: Rob Naughton - Pendleton, OR and Bend, OR | October 12, 2005 12:57 PM

WO Stump was killed in combat and it has been confirmed by the military investigation that enemy fire brought his Chinook down. In addition, members of his unit that were on that mission in other helicopters have stated that both pilots attempted to get the aircraft to safety while it was in a ball of flames. Unfortunately, they were overtaken by the smoke and flames, which caused the crash. I would suggest getting the facts to anyone that wants to speculate before they write inappropriate comments about a man not to mention polital agendas, which are unacceptable when involving a fallen soldier.

Posted by: Rob Naughton - Pendleton, OR and Bend, OR | October 12, 2005 12:59 PM

If Chris or anyone else does not believe that every soldier, serving, served, or casualty has not been the victim of the Bush machine's propaganda then he/she is totally naive or part of the problem. Our soldiers have served and too many died or maimed for Bushie's lies. We served for our way of life and that includes knowing the truth before the decision is made to enter a killing zone realizing that death will result. We all know that we also fight to protect our brother/sister soldiers. This is the penultimate in honor and nobility. If you do not point out the deception when you know it then you are dishonoring the service and deaths of ALL who have gone before. To keep quite is actually politicizing our brothers'/sisters' deaths.

Was the clamor to tell the truth that Pat Tillman's death resulted from friendly fire a politicization of Pat's death? According to an extension of Chris' comments it would be. But, of course it wasn't; this knowledge may save others; Pat was no less brave nor his death less honorable. The politics rears its ugly head anytime that the non-sacrificers try to hide the truth. One of the fundamental rights for which soldiers from Valley Forge to Tikrit have ultimately sacrificed for, is the right for Americans to know the truth. Is this not one of the greatest honors?

Posted by: Guardsman | October 13, 2005 03:53 PM

This is a tribute to a friend and lost loved one, which you are tarnishing by making your political statements. WO Stump and his family do not agree with you or your position. Do not post any further comments that have nothing to do w/ WO Stump. Allow his family to grieve their loss knowing that their son died doing what he loved and deeply believed in.

To Quote Chris's post above on Oct. 6 "There are times and places to state your political views, comments on the euology of a soldier, at least from this sodlier's point of view, are not the appropriate time."

Posted by: Rob Naughton | October 14, 2005 12:13 PM

Anne, Jerry, Riley, Julie and Molly Stump are a living testament to their beautiful son and brother. I encourage anyone of you who reads this story to spend some quiet moments with your heart, reflect on your lives and try and emulate theirs.

They are truely everything that family and America stands for.

I am and will continue to pray for you. I am sorry for your loss, but thank you so much for sharing all of your memories and your lives.


Posted by: Susan White | October 17, 2005 11:16 AM

My husband knew Adrian from the time he joined the gaurd when he was 17. He has nothing but good things to say about Adrian, also stating that he was, "One of the best at the stick, especially for his age and the fact that he was a new pilot." We attended the memorial, and it was a beautiful rememberance of Adrian. I only wish I had gotten to know him better, as I can only recall a brief introduction. I also want to recognize SSG. Tane Baum as he was also a great man and a great soldier. If people want to know why god took these men, the best response I have heard is,"god is running out of angels, and he took these five men because they already knew how to fly.." All my love to the families of these men, and to my fellow wives, the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and children of the soldiers from D Co 113th Aviation.

Posted by: Flight Engineer of D Co 113th Avn's- Wife | October 17, 2005 11:12 PM

exJarhead: Go F*** yourself you piece of s***. What kind of inconsiderate f*** posts the message you did. He was hit by an RPG and went down in a blaze of glory. And still tried to land! You would get hit by just my fist and wouldn't considering getting up. You tell me who is a bigger man: a man who sits on his computer and makes remarks other uneducated idiots like yourself could just as easily have posted, or Adrian Stump, a man who didn't want to leave his unit behind and led a convoy of 7 helicopters into a Taliban hot spot? Retards like you might take the former, but people with more brain cells than my foot will take the latter. F*** you.

"Pilot error"? People like Adrian don't make mistakes; armchair quarterbacks like yourself do. Die a slow death. 1,500 people won't show up to your funeral like they did to Adrian's. And please post your name so that my family can come by and pay our respects to your grave site--and piss on it.

Think before you speak. And get your head out of the jar you dumb f***. Rest in piss.

Posted by: Harry Beckwith, cousin of Adrian Stump | October 18, 2005 12:55 AM

Thank you for serving. Good luck and know we pray for you and everyone in uniform.

Posted by: skip dreps | October 18, 2005 04:34 PM

It's been a 3 weeks since we heard that Adrian was killed, and the hurt and loss are still so near the surface. As I read the comments posted by the many people, I am very touched by those who wrote wonderful things about Adrian without really knowing him at all, but by knowing what he stood for and how he honored his country and died doing what he loved. Others, who actually knew him, I was grateful for their insight and thoughtful words, they are so comforting for all of us and gave us all a better understanding on Adrian, and who he was and what he stood for.
At Saturdays "celebration of life" I was astounded at the out pouring of love by all of the speakers, who were family, friends and Guard brothers. It was amazing to see over 1500 people in an attendance, what does this say about this young man? That he was loved, honored and supported, for his passion of life and for all he did for this war, for this country and for each and everyone of us.
Adrian had a way of touching others and just brightening their day, his smile was contagious. My heart aches for his family and for his Guard brothers. I know that they will all miss him, as well as the rest of us.
I know that our thoughts and prayers will always be with the entire Stump Family as well as with the other 4 members and their families, who also lost their lives in this tragedy. We pray that the Stump family has comfort and healing, and the continued support from family, friends, and All fellow Americans.
Adrian, you touched our lives for a brief time, but we are all better people, no matter how much or little we knew you. Your smile and twinkle in your eye will always be remembered, but most importantly, we will miss you and the passion you carried for life.
As David mentioned in his closing remarks at the funeral,......... the happiest days would be when you returned home...well, he was right, Adrian, you are home and we will always and forever miss you!!
God bless, until we meet again!

Posted by: Vic | October 18, 2005 07:10 PM


Posted by: Carly | October 19, 2005 01:15 AM

Warrant Officer Stover,

I have to start by saying that your story of my nephew was disappointing. I honestly don't feel you did him justice by painting such a juvenile, careless, picture of him. You obviously must have been too wrapped up in your own insecurities to see, or feel who the real Adrian Stump truly was.
I'm sure that your journey through flight school was a challenge you didn't want to take lightly, but taking out your stress, and frustrations on someone who had the ability to enjoy every moment to the fullest was your mistake. You had the opportunity to learn a very valuable lesson from Adrian. What I would have hoped you could take away from your run-ins with my nephew is an appreciation for humor at times when things could get too intense. I understand very well that Adrian could be almost silly about life, but he was able to get away with that because of his extremely mature view of what is truly important
You portrayed him as a goof-off that didn't have the focus to be serious. My nephew took a helicopter ride at 14, and then relentlessly pursued an eight year ambition to fly. He joined the National Guard at 17. He spent the summer before his senior year of high school at basic training. He then missed the next 4 out 5 birthdays at home to make his dreams a reality. I challenge you to present me with another boy with that kind of perseverance.
His fun-loving manner, while it may have seemed childish to you, was the direct result of being raised in a very close, loving family that held its highest value in enjoying life. He knew very well what hard work was. Which I assume is the reason he graduated with honors. And even after accomplishing more than many of us can claim in a lifetime, this man's pride and joy remained locked in to his family.
As sad as it may be, there is a reason why individuals like Adrian can leave us at such an early age. A soul that is so perfectly clear on the real beauty of life isn't in much need for more lessons to be learned. Lessons that may take you several lifetimes to learn. Because after reading your short-sighted article I seriously question what values make up your character. I am sorry for the Washington Post that you were their representation of the lost life of Adrian Stump. You may have attempted to claim some kind of "mentorship" that taught Adrian a lesson in maturity, but what you actually accomplished is the clear message that you have a lot of growing up to do. Or should I say, "You're such a f****** kid!"
p.s. I have no doubt that the reason Adrian mocked you for wanting to cut down PT drills was because he couldn't agree with your pansy-ass whining.

*If you want a way to redeem yourself I suggest you send a personally written apology to Adrian's parents. I hope that your family will never have to read such a meaningless testimony at your death,

Posted by: Caroline Broker, aunt of Adrian Stump | October 19, 2005 01:35 AM

my heart and love go out to each of you and your familys. I watched my bother go through Korea and 3 trips to Nam. He would go to Ft Riley Kansas and train a group of young men to take to Viet Nam and when they were gone he returned to Ft. Riley again. He once came home with snow white hair which turned black again when he returned to the states. He went into a resturant and asked for a salad with mayo. The waitress refused to make it and he blew. After all the years he spent fighting for this country he recieved no respect from the Americans
I thank God that these young men died with the respect of the Americans even though I believe they were sent to a bogus war by a stack of lies by our current government.

God bless the current young men and women who have given so much for us to have our liberty. Sue Miller

Posted by: Sue Miller | October 19, 2005 06:21 PM

I have a huge respect and immense gratitude for all who have given service to keep my family safe. I pledge to Adrian Stump and all of you, that I will do everything I am able to do to see that your sacrifices will be honored. In that effort, I want to hold President (title added due to respect for the office only) Bush's fake cowboy boots to his comic campfire. Every chance I get I will reject the "I'm just a good ole', plain spoken, boy" image and demand intelligent leadership with an ability to plan, adjust, and equip an army so that you and all of the heroes like Adrian Stump can come home safe.

Posted by: Glenda Starr | October 28, 2005 08:14 PM

Andrea from MD: You may be retarded. "Touching testimony"? I have a guess: You never graduated high school and have ZERO reading comprehension. Don't tell me I am right--I already know. Please don't praise borderline mental midgets like Stover. Do you know what testimony is? I suggest you brush up on your Court T.V., since that is where you probably get your cues on prosecution and defense.

Stover's testimony is horrific to say the least. Please don't give a shred of praise to those who don't deserve it: People who capitalize on others deaths (i.e. Stover). I know the i.e. might have gone over your head, Ms. Reading ComPro, but in Latin it translates: id est, or that is. Thank you and people like you for setting mankind back as far as it has been.

Do you believe in creation or evolution? I suggest you look into biology, since I already know your answer. Please don't post another reply.

Posted by: Harry Beckwith, cousin of Adrian Stump | October 29, 2005 06:00 AM

Forgive my anger. But tards, please keep your stupid ass posts to yourselves.

Posted by: Harry Beckwith | October 29, 2005 06:04 AM


What is your problem? Besides being so angry!

Posted by: Wondrous | November 1, 2005 04:22 PM

Stover~ Well I just read your so called "Testimony" and let me tell you that is not a testimony. Your recollection of Adrian and you experiences with him made me really feel sorry for you because you clearly didn't see what a dedicated and strong person he was.

Never in my life have I ever met a person more serious and dedicated to their lifes purpose then Adrian, can you even say what you wanted to do with your life at 14 and then by age 20 actually achieve it to the highest degree? No you cannot because you didn't have the drive that he did or the compassion for life and everyone around you, and from your horrible recollection of what little time you spent from him you still don't get what Adrian represented.

I couldn't say it any better then what Caroline Broker said as to why Adrian mocked you... if you were so much stronger and wiser then Adrian why would you request to cut back on exercises? It just proves how much stronger a person he was then you if you had to even think about it because Adrian loved everything about flying, even the hard parts! And honestly from your own mouth you have proven that Adrian was more mature then you because he didn't come back at you with angered words like how you attacked him, Adrian didn't need to and he didn't believe it was necessary. Also, even if he would have come back at you he would have later come to you and asked for your apology because he would have known that what he said was wrong and would have felt upset if he had hurt your feelings, but you clearly don't care what the hell comes out of your mouth from you HORRIBLE blog.

And as for those people who may attack Harry Beckwith, you all can go F*** yourselves because you will never meet somebody more caring and passionate about family then him. If you could have seen the emotion that spilled from him at the memorial services when he spoke of Adrian you would be ashamed of any ill words you have said to him. He is a great friend and wonderful person that definately knows how to stick up for himself and those he cares about.

Stover if you haven't already you should clearly think about writing a apology to Adrians parents or a follow up apology blog to this stupid "Testimony"! You dragged an angels name through the mud in trying to make yourself look good, he is a hero and you NEVER will be.

Posted by: Ericka M.Sweet | November 9, 2005 01:06 AM

Wondrous: Perhaps you should read Stover's touching "testimony" and exJarhead's comment (which may have been taken off the this site) then get back to me.

Posted by: Harry Beckwith | November 13, 2005 11:44 PM

Thanks for giving Stover what he deserves Ericka!

Posted by: Harry Beckwith | November 13, 2005 11:46 PM

Why all the anger and animosity? Ex-Jarhead's comments are completely out of line. He has proven the adage of jarheads are jarheads because the head is empty. I spent 10 1/2 years in the Corps, before that clown was even born. My time ws the end of Korea to the begginning of Nam. And just for the record, Nam didn;t begin in 65!
So get off of it folks, anyone who dies for his country doing what he loves to do is a hero. Those who serve by the same motivation are good men to, and Providence should not be questioned as to why some die and others don't. I'm glad we have a few good men left.

Posted by: wondrous | November 17, 2005 11:43 AM

Words cannot describe the feeling of loss that lies in the pit of my stomach in the wake of this horrible event. Everyday I think of the effect that those five heroes had on my life. I had the distinct pleasure to become friends with Adrian and the remainder of the crew of "Mustang 22" Adrian and I spent almost all of flight school together, he lived four doors down from me in the apartment complex at Rucker. On weekends we would hang out together, playing video games, travelling around the south, or just catching a quick bite to eat in between classes. I also was in the same OBC class as WO1 Stover and understand that his comments are very genuine and myself and the rest of the members of D113 AVN appreciate your article. It saddens me that some people have turned this blog into something negative when Adrian was such a positive guy. I was very excited when I found out that Adrian was going to be able to join myself and the rest of our unit here in Afghanistan because I know that's what he wanted to do more than anything in the world. When they say he was a natural it's really an understatement. Adrian was in some ways immature but never with his flying, he had a control of the Chinook that is uncanny for such a new pilot. I often envied his flying ability, hoping I could be that good. I will hold near to my heart the precious short time I spent with Adrian. But I will remember most of all the good times and laughs we shared. Adrian, thank you for being my friend.

Posted by: John Hoffman | November 22, 2005 08:44 PM

To all who are skeptics and clearly lost:

I first learned of Adrian's death on September 25th when my brother called home and told me in a voice filled with devestation and pain that "Stump had died." My brother and Adrian belonged to a close-knit group of friends who would go to the ends of the earth for eachother and will die brothers. Adrian was one of those few people God scarcely graces the earth with, one who could never be forgotten if only remembered for a smile, one who had understanding beyond that of many, and one who held the greatest appreciation for life, family, and humor. Those of you who sit at home and post insincere comments of a man you were not blessed to know are of the lowest class of human beings. Adrian came from a family whose love is felt by all. A family who raised thier children with love, laughter, and respect for others. A family who taught their children that laughter was just as much a priority as love. When i was at the Stump's home the following Monday i was sitting with my good friend Molly, Adrian's youngest sister, crying with her and listening to her speak of all the good memories she had of her brother. Adrian's dad, Jerry, came up to me and the other girls sitting with Molly, with tears in his eyes, and thanked us for being there to support Molly and their family. The day after they found out their son had died, Adrian's father thanked us for being there to support the family, he wanted to make sure that all who came to visit were appreciated for their heartfelt apologies and prayers. You cannot come across a classier act than that. How many of us, the day after losing a child, brother, son, nephew, and friend would be concerned with thanking everyone who entered thier home to greive with them, whether they knew who you were or not? This family and Adrian should only be regarded with respect and heartfelt sympathies. F*** anyone who has anything bad to say of the Stump family and their beloved Adrian. Like Harry Beckwith previously posted, 1500 people will not show up to your funerals to wish you goodbye with respect. You'll be lucky to attract a crowd of 10.

Posted by: Caileen Jamieson - Pendleton OR | December 5, 2005 06:03 PM

WO Stover,
My husband found this article not too long ago and sent it to me. Billy Shufeldt is my cousin. I e-mailed Billy Joe(that's what I call him) right away to make sure that was him that you were talking about. I figured there was only one Billy Shufeldt, but I wanted to make sure. He e-mailed me back to let me know that it was. He said that you were one of his best friends from flight school, and told me to let you know that he is my cousin. He said that you would get a kick out of that. Anyways, thank you so much for your service. I will be praying for you guys!!!

Posted by: Stephanie | January 26, 2006 01:36 PM

I was Stump's roommate in flight school and wanted to thank you Stover for this article about our friend. We all miss him and he was able to touch us all in so many ways. And to think that Stump and I looked at each other and laughed in class when the instructor told us that soon people in our class would eventually lose their lives in aircraft. I thought no we are better than that! We wont lose anybody...now less than a year later and already my best friend in flight school is gone.
I miss you Stump, fly on and we'll join you sooner or later, 1Lt. Leland Gross
For my personal memorial please visit my blog:

Posted by: Leland Gross | February 10, 2006 11:15 PM

Too many Adrian Stumps...my high school bud, Ray Bosworth, died on his first area fam flight in-country. Ray was from San Anton, loved Ricky Nelson records, and, like Adrian, was too damn young. That was thirty-some years ago. All we can do is remember. Here's to Ray, Adrian, and all the fine young men between...I love you, guys!

Posted by: John Scanlan | March 16, 2006 10:18 AM

I knew Adrain when he was a Spc. he was a great kid!!! He was allways asking me about the a/c that I worked on in the past, how the worked and the handling qualites of fixed wings. When I first met him, he thanked me for my service in the Navy. That was just the kind of kid he was, very outgoing and very playful, but he was a true patiot. I was on the casket detail that took him off the C-130 in Pendleton. That day along with the day I helped to lay Tane to his final resting place are the saddest I my life! I will miss his grin, his wonder at all thing that fly, and his good hearted nature. If you have an opion that is mean spirted take it elswhere!!!! Fair winds and following seas Stumpie, see you on the other side!!

Posted by: SGT. John D. Barnedt | May 27, 2006 06:57 PM

i just wanted to stop in and pay my respects to a good man! and i am glad to have served in afghanistan with him! i did not know him all that well.. but i could tell how he touched the people around him! i became good freinds with sgt moore and he would talk about all the crazy things they would do back home! i remember the day he went down i was in tarin kowt on radio watch and no matter freind or not hearing those momments unfold will always be ingrained in my head! R.I.P WO1 STUMP

Posted by: spc blank | August 19, 2006 05:39 PM

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