A memorial service for Lt. Col. Morris "Moose" Fontenot Jr., who lost his life in an F-15 crash in the remote mountains near Deerfield, VA last Wednesday, will take place in the main Base Hangar at Barnes Air National Guard Base Sept. 7 at 10 p.m.
"During this memorial service, members of the 104th Fighter Wing will be able to pay their respects to Lt. Col. Fontenot and to celebrate his life of service," said Col. James Keefe, 104th Fighter Wing Commander. "This tragedy hit the wing very hard, and this memorial service is important for the Barnes family to find closure after this accident."
Fontenot's funeral service will take place at the Colorado Springs Air Force Academy in early October, according to 104th Fighter Wing Lt. Anthony Mutti.
The memorial service at Barnes ANG Base will be open to military members and their families. The service will include eulogies shared by members of Barnes ANG Base and family members, Mutti said.
In lieu of flowers and cards, a fund was established to assist the family and donations can be made through the Red River Valley Fighter Pilot Association.
According to U.S. Air Force officials in Colorado, the Fontenot family will travel to Colorado Thursday to make funeral arrangements.
Following a 30-hour search, the 104th Fighter Wing identified Fontenot on Friday morning as the pilot of the F-15C Eagle fighter jet who was killed.
Fontenot was a Longmeadow resident and a Texas native. He graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1996 and was a decorated combat veteran, according to Mutti.
Fontenot served with the 104th Fighter Wing as the full-time wing inspector general. He was responsible for the implementation of the Air Force Inspection System and as an F-15 instructor pilot, Mutti said.
Fontenot had more than 2,300 flight hours and was a weapons school graduate with more than 17 years' experience flying F-15s, Mutti said.
Fontenot served as a squadron commander at multiple international and domestic locations. Fontenot joined the Massachusetts Air National Guard in February 2014 following active duty assignments in Washington, DC, Japan, Idaho, Florida, Alaska and numerous deployments to the Middle East, according to Mutti.
The veteran earned the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, and Combat Readiness Medal among others, Mutti said.
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