Gone but not forgotten

Gone but not forgotten

Dear Editor,

Lee Roys walked into my office at Clearwater Correction Center and asked to use the telephone after introducing each other, I pointed to my phone. When he had finished his conversation, I asked if he would like coffee, thus began a friendship that lasted several decades.

He was a fellow veteran of the military, soft-spoken and somewhat reluctant to detail his Vietnam experiences, as are most combat members.

My brother, who did two tours in Vietnam, spent 3 years in a Korean prisoner of war camp, while another brother flew missions above him and beyond. Both had to be questioned, drawn out more or less, to recall their experiences.

I flew with Lee in both helicopters and his single-engine airplane as often as the opportunity allowed. As a naïve small airplane student myself while in the Air Force I found Lee to be an exceptional pilot, who always placed practice and safety first on his mind.

Those of us who knew Lee Roys as a friend before his stroke and after were extremely saddened for him. His love of flying, being grounded and retired from the Air Force as a flight engineer on C-131’s no doubt troubled him extremely.

Lee offered to sell me his light plane when he knew my son, Bret, was a flight test manager for the Boeing Company on the 747-800 was involved in aircraft. Bret had had his first airplane ride with Lee when he was 6 years old, they flew over Forks and along the coast it was he said, a great day! He declined Lees offer saying he preferred at minimum a plane with two engines!

Lee will be missed by those who knew him. May God Rest His Soul.

Capt. Reed