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I’d Never Fly the Osprey Again. My Heart Was Broken, Yet Somehow Full at the Same Time.

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June 9, 2022, started like any other day—I was up at five a.m. to get ready for work at Marine Aircraft Group 36 in Okinawa, Japan. At the end of my drive, I checked my phone and found a message from my good friend Teedha, my first flight doctor in the fleet.

There had been an Osprey mishap in California, she wrote, possibly at the VMM-364 squadron I’d left a little more than a year before. My stomach dropped as I pictured the faces of my friends still there and I told myself not to panic. I didn’t know anything yet—the severity of the crash or if anyone was hurt.

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