24 comments on “Capt David J. Sielewicz. 1964-1992

  1. Ken,

    What a wonderful tribute. Beautifully stated and composed. You bring honor to his memory and legacy. If as you mentioned it was he who taught you ‘what it means to be a nice guy’, he must have been a truly great guy. You are a unique, kind and very special person yourself –

    Best regards,

  2. So you don’t age! I loved your story of David. It is very moving. That picture of the two of you was great, but it proved to me that you must have discovered some kind of fountain of youth or you made some kind of Faustian bargain. You don’t age Ken! So use those young legs and keep pedaling! We believe in you!

    Go Ken, go!

  3. Ken,
    Your post brought both tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. Slay was truly one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. Remembering back to when I found out about that crash gave me chills. Remembering Dave dancing “The Slay” made me laugh out loud.
    I didn’t realize there was a memorial in MT for him and his fellow airmen. Thank you so much for sharing that.
    Enjoy the rest of your trip and thanks for the updates through your blog.

  4. Ken,
    Your adventure is inspiring…and exciting…and moving. Thank you for sharing it all.

  5. I am so full of emotion after reading your tribute and looking at the Memorial. What a special friend he was and you are. God speed during the next few days when we may not hear from you.

  6. Ken – What a fabulous tribute to a friend who definitely made an impact! Sounds like Dave was a very special person who lived too short a life. Keep it up! The blogs (including the pictures) are fantastic. Glad your knees are feeling better. Very inspiring!!!! Jerry

  7. Thanks for going the extra distance to see the memorial, Ken, and for sharing pictures. Dave was a great guy and Theta Chi brother. Great to cherish the memories. Best wishes on the rest of your trip.

  8. Ken, thanks for posting. Slay was one of the best. Always there to help a friend, even a lowly pledge like myself ( at the time). I think of him often, and the kind of person he was. I try to instill those values in my kids. Honesty, Integrity, humility, hard work, service to others… and of course, the Slay dance. Which I could never quite pull off.

  9. Ken,
    What a great tribute to your friend, I was so moved by it I shared it with my children. Those are true friendships that will last forever (in memory). I’m enjoying your blog tremendously, wish I was riding with you.
    Keep writing, be safe.

  10. Hi Ken, Dave would be so very proud of you, just like we all are! I am sure he is watching over every pedal you make! Travel safe!!!

  11. Kenny

    As i sit here with tears in my eyes, I rejoice at the gift we were given as
    Brothers in Theta Chi with the greatest group of guys. Slay was one of the best. I often remember visiting him during training and the joy he got from flying. He would be so happy that you are making this trip and rembered him to all of us. Hopefully we all are reminded again that life is short and we need to live each and every day. Have a great trip. “Diehler” ’86

  12. Ken, Thanks for sharing your memories of Dave and you visit to his memorial. I remember when I heard he passed away… My heart dropped, I prayed it was not true, unbelievably tragic. Dave was an incredible person. I definitely had some rough times @ Lehigh, but no matter what I was going thru or dealing with, Dave was always there lending and ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on & I knew I could tell him anything. He was 100% trustworth, loyal and never, ever judged. He had a way about him that made you feel special regardless of what was going on around you. I can still hear his calming voice. I remember one night the two of us were sitting in the living room, people, including Sloane were sleeping all around us, we were up talking, he was keeping the fire going. It was that night that Dave taught me compassion… I didn’t realize it then, but reflecting back on that night, it truly impacted me, and I am a better person for knowing Dave. He was one of a kind and even though his time on Earth was way to short… He touched so many lives in a positive way and made a difference. Dave will never be forgotten and will always be in my heart. Bob Borowik

  13. Ken, Thanks for sharing these pictures and memories. I went through pilot training with Dave and will never forget him – he was an amazing person.

  14. Nice tribute Ken. I hope to visit the memorial myself some day. After 8 years in the Air Force I still do a lot with families that have lost someone during their service.

  15. Ken, I just found you! Oh my word, there are no words that can express how I’m feeling right now. He was my friend out here in Seattle and I loved him dearly…He loved and lived life to it’s fullest and taught me to do the same. However, you already know that. I would talk to his parents on the phone, even not ever meeting then, and he bring his brother Mike up for dinners with my family….Life has never been the same but still goes on. He made such an impact of my son, only 3 1/2 yrs to 6 yrs, that he has served now 6 years in the Army as an EOD tech.
    Family and friends were important to him and even though he HATED practicing refueling he died doing something he loved….flying and serving his country.
    I hope this message finds you healthy. Sincerly Peg

  16. I met Dave in the Summer of 1984. We were Air Force ROTC cadets going through our 5 1/2 week Summer camp, and became fast friends. When Dave ran, he could fly like the wind. We did a lot of running that Summer, and as we learned the fundamentals of becoming Air Force Officers, we understood that the profession we were training for, had inherent risks. When we graduated from our officer training at Lackland AFB, TX that Summer, we parted with a good firm handshake, and the promise of having a few beers when we finally made it, and our paths crossed. That opportunity never came. Dave, along with the other 14 Air Force servicemen I have known over my 30 year career who gave their lives in the service to their country, are always on my mind, but even more so as Memorial Day weekend rolls around. I’ll raise a glass to my comrades this weekend, as I grill steaks, enjoy my family, and lament the future times that never came with my friends. The World is a safer place for their sacrifice, and a much emptier place as well.

  17. Ken,

    I was one of Dave’s Air Force Recruiter’s and always remembered the day he was literally running after me in the street outside my Claremont, NH office back in 80’s. He was a super nice guy and highly motivated to join the USAF and fly jets. When i learned of his aviation accident I was deeply affected by it for a long time. May God rest his soul and you for keeping his memory alive!! Please pass this on to Dave’s parents on this 2017 Memorial Day!
    USAF Retired E-6 TSgt. Tim Shoneck

  18. Hi Ken,
    I just discovered this today. Dave was a precious guy to so many of us. I just scanned a photo of hi m with you and some of the Theta Chi gang that I will try to send you on LinkedIn. My greatest memories are sharing our hearts while reading the Bible together. I share again the verse (John 11:25) I shared at the Theta Chi memorial service: “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
    Dave believed this!
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  19. Sitting here on Memorial Day 2021 remembering my best friend, room mate, frat brother and best man. It has been so long ago now but the vivid memories of our pilot training days together are as if just yesterday. Never forget!

    Wade R Beitel, USAF retired
    Theta Chi, Alpha Delta Purdue
    UPT Columbus MS

  20. I was there the day this happened, worked search and recovery. I was sitting in my office today thinking of that day and how it changed my life forever. This was a horrible day and the thoughts of that day are still clear in my mind. I just thought you needed to know I have never forgot the 13 that day and am happy to see his memory lives on.

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