To the Emerald Coast community:
Last week, Air Force Special Operations Command suffered a devastating loss of Tech Sgts Timothy Officer Jr. and Marty Bettelyoun. From the ashes of this loss, your community provided an amazing demonstration of what makes America great.
The outpouring of support from local organizations, businesses and individuals was truly overwhelming and was noted by the friends, family and teammates of these fallen Special Tactics Airmen.
There were so many who didn’t know Timmy and Marty, but still gave of their homes, their food, their time and their money to care for the families during this time of tragedy.
There were many others who knew Timmy or Marty, but continued to support the families despite personal grief; an amazing representation of strength and dedication.
Timmy, a two-time Bronze Star recipient, was dedicated to his friends and loved children. He believed earnestly in investing in America’s future.
Marty, a father of five, was passionate about giving. He was constantly volunteering to help others, regardless of costs.
The attributes most loved in Marty and Timmy were honorably represented by this community in the wake of tragedy. The selflessness, commitment and giving nature of the Emerald Coast is something that struck the friends and family as simply amazing. I will never forget the sight of so many proud Americans alongside the road with flags, hand-covered hearts, and distinguishable gratitude.
This community represents why Timmy and Marty fought for our nation, and gave their lives for it. It is all too easy for the cynic to doubt the future of America if their observations are isolated to national news.
Rest assured that everyone who witnessed the Emerald Coast’s honor, respect and service to these fallen Airmen, knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that America’s future is bright. You are what makes America great, and we are honored to serve among you.
Col. Matthew Wolfe Davidson
Commander, 24th Special Operations Wing
223 Cody Ave.
Hurlburt Field, FL 32544