HILL AIR FORCE BASE — The family and friends of Airman 1st Class Joseph D. Blattel gathered Aug. 19 to remember his life. Blattel died Aug 16 following an off-base motorcycle accident. The 19-year-old, from Las Vegas, Nev., was an F-35 Tactical Aircraft Maintenance Specialist in the 34th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. He had been assigned to the 388th Fighter Wing since February.
On Wednesday, an F-35 flown by Lt. Col. Aaron Cavazos, 34th Fighter Squadron commander, and launched by his fellow maintainers and closest friends, carried flags that were later presented to his family.
“We were all deeply saddened this week over the loss of Airman Blattel. We paused a portion of our operations for a day this week to give our Airmen space to grieve. Our thoughts and prayers have been with Joseph’s family and his teammates in the 34th AMU,” said Col. Steven Behmer, 388th Fighter Wing commander.