1Lt Justin J. Wilkens Bracelet (USAFA '09)

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1Lt Justin J. Wilkens Bracelet (USAFA '09)

25.00

First Lieutenant Justin James Wilkens, 26, passed away on February 18, 2012, when his U-28 aircraft went down in Djibouti, Africa, where he was serving his third deployment with the United States Air Force 34th Special Operations Squadron.

Justin was born, the second of four children, to Jim and Sharon Wilkens in Bend, Oregon, on February 7, 1986. His passion for flying was evident from an early age. He obtained his glider license at age 14 and his Pilot License at age 16. Justin entered the Air Force Academy in 2005 and graduated, receiving his commission, in 2009. He completed his Combat Systems Officer Training at Randolph Air Force Base , Texas in 2010, graduating with "Excellence.”

Justin received his U-28A Combat Systems Officer Training at Hurlburt Field, Florida, finishing in 2011 with the Spirit 03 Superior Performer Award, the receipt of which qualified him to compete for Distinguished Graduate of 2011 - U-28 Combat Systems Officer, which he was awarded on January 12, 2012.

To his family, Justin will be remembered for his infectious laugh, his eyes brimming with fun, his warm heart and his hard, tight bear hugs. He was excited to be alive and he lived with joy in the present moment. He made any situation fun and he leaves behind him many memories of rendering us helpless with laughter at his stories. He was affectionate and loving to his family and friends, sacrificially generous and loyal.

Justin is survived by his parents, Jim and Sharon Wilkens, his older sister, Brittany and her husband, Nathan Betts, his younger sister, Cameron, and younger brother, Jason, as well as his grandparents, Bob and Donna Wilkens and Walt and Jane Miller.

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