Friday, February 16, 2007

Travis Pfister remembered

Sgt. Travis D. Pfister is the sixth military man with Hemet ties to be killed in the war.

Pfister, 27, was stationed at nearby Camp Pendleton and lived in Hemet with his wife Jessica, 27, and their dog, Bruin. He was a member of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364, the Purple Foxes. 1st Lt. Jared M. Landaker, the pilot, of Big Bear City, also died in the crash.

Travis Pfister was the CH-46 helicopter's crew chief and .50-caliber machine-gunner and helped rescue wounded and other combat Marines in trouble. Later this week, Pfister's body will be accompanied back home by his best friend, Staff Sgt. Chip Jacoby, Jessica Pfister said.

"Every time I worried about him, he'd say, 'Baby, the crew chief never dies,'" she recalled. She also is a Marine sergeant and recruiter.

Jessica Pfister said her husband of five years would not want her to cry. "Now, I plan to re-enlist to make him proud," she said.

Travis Pfister, who was born in Richland, Wash., and joined the Marines in 1999, was on his third tour in Iraq and had just 28 days before he would return home to Hemet, where the couple had lived for more than a year, his wife said. They le planned on starting a family and settling in the San Jacinto Valley, she said.

"Travis was very passionate about his job," his wife said. "He believed in his country and the Marine Corps. He wanted to be there (Iraq). The love for what he did was understood by all, because he led by example and his heart."

Jessica Pfister said her husband died as a "true hero," performing his duties as a Marine.

"I'm not mad at America, and I'm not mad at the military," she said. "He was where he wanted to be."

Jessica Pfister said she met her husband at a party in 1999 at Camp Pendleton.

"I never thought I'd marry a Marine, but he was the most genuine man I've ever met," she said.

Travis Pfister's nickname was Lunchbox, because he ate anything and everything "and a lot of it," his wife said.

Pfister, known to friends as a great storyteller and an avid sword collector, enjoyed practical jokes and making funny videos, she remembered.

"That's why God took him. They needed a comedian in heaven," she said.

"Travis never judged anybody for anything and accepted everybody no matter what," family friend Beth Jacoby said. "Nothing bothered him."

From the Press Enterprise

Related Link:
Travis D. Pfister killed in helicopter crash