Posted: Saturday, February 29, 2020. 3:39 pm CST.
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.
By Delroy Cuthkelvin: We join in offering our sympathies to the immediate families of the four fallen soldiers who lost their lives in that tragic helicopter incident this past Thursday, February 27, 2020, and to their extended family which constitutes the entire leadership and membership of the Belize Defence Force. And, as we do so, we are reminded of how many lives these brave men impacted, not only through the overall mission of national and regional security to which they dedicated their lives, but, perhaps most strikingly and unforgettably, through their personal contact with individuals from all walks of life, many of those previously untold stories now being related in their memory and honor.
In mourning their death and honoring their lives of service and sacrifice, we must acknowledge being among the thousands of individuals personally impacted by the dedication and competence of two of those brave gentlemen in particular, namely Major Adran Ramirez and Major Radford Baizar.
Three and a half years ago, we had the pleasure and honor of joining personnel from the Ministry of National Security on a tour of military installations in the western and southern regions of the country. During that tour, we were flown by both pilots now deceased, Major Adran Ramirez and Major Radford Baizar (accompanied at the time by their instructor, veteran pilot, William Malo).
On November 28, 2016, Major Ramirez flew us in the BDF Defender aircraft from Central Farm towards the Belize-Guatemala Border over installations at Arenal, Xunantunich and El Pilar (Bullet Tree area).
The following day, November 29, 2016, Major Radford Baizar flew us by helicopter from Camp Belizario to Guacamayo, from where we drove by vehicle to Caracol Archaelogical Site and back. From Guacamayo, Major Baizar flew us to Valentin Camp, Ceibo Chico and Rio Blanco, where we had the privilege and challenge of spending the night at that remote location near our border with Guatemala, the way our brave soldiers do night after night.
The following morning, November 30, 2016, it was Major Ramirez who retrieved us by helicopter from Rio Blanco and flew us all the way back to Belmopan, affording us some spectacular views from the air, circling and hovering over a number of scenic landmarks, such as the Caracol Archaeological Site.
We share with you these vivid details because they represent experiences that will remain with us for life, experiences that were particularly enhanced by the professionalism and hospitality of these two competent Belizean pilots and their crew, of whom we are exceedingly proud.
We join the rest of Belizeans everywhere, whose lives have been personally impacted and whose overall safety and security have been enhanced by the selfless service and sacrifice of these brave soldiers (and many others like them), in extending our deepest sympathies to their families and to the entire Belize Defence Force. RESPECT and REST IN PEACE, Soldiers.
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