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Katie Cobb…

October 11, 2017
Image result for Make a Wish Foundation

photo from yahoo



Hey Y’all,


Quick story time tonight. Before 9-11, I was the pilot scheduler for my Squadron in Charleston, West Virginia. Before anyone confuses me with a good, competent scheduler please know that I really didn’t like the job and I wasn’t very good at keeping up with all the daily changes that occurred in the process of putting out a daily flying schedule. I was really a train wreck as a scheduler and thankfully I got promoted to a different office about a year after I was given the scheduling job. In the military, when you get “promoted” what that really means is that you have been fired. I was never so happy to have been fired form a job when I was relieved of that duty.


I was sitting in my office and it was late in the week, when we got an add on flight for that Saturday. That was like a swift kick in the backside because no one wanted to fly on a weekend, especially if it was a local flight that didn’t end up in a good location. The general rule was about three hours of planning for every hour of flight. This meant that the poor saps that got stuck with this flight would see a good portion of their day off eaten up by this flight.


I was in the current operations section when I was told of the added flight. I started asking questions in my sarcastic, unappreciative tone of voice. The guy that added it on told me that it the order came from the Adjutant General’s office. This means that the General ordered the flight and it was going to go. Me and the other crew positions were all upset until we learned about the mission. It was a Make A Wish flight. There was a sick kid named Daniel who lived somewhere along one of our low-level routes. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we flew two C-130s over his house at a very low altitude. We flew these routes routinely and like clockwork we were over his house in the early afternoon twice a week.


He had some form of life threatening disease and his wish was to go flying with us. The people at Make A Wish contacted the Air Guard and the flight because a reality for him. Once we had this information, I put myself on the schedule as the Aircraft Commander and I recruited one of my buddies to be the Co-Pilot. I spoke to the other crew positions and made sure they put on a crew member who would do two things. The first was to treat Daniel like a King and the second was someone I could trust not to tell on me because I was going to give this kid the ride of a lifetime.


Me and the Co-Pilot, I think it was Mikey O, but I may be wrong about that. Filled out a flight plan and planned several different low-level routes around the state. We had no idea where Daniel lived so we wanted to be flexible. We planned to change our call-sign from the normal name of Anvil to Danil 01, in his honor.  We were going to let him talk on the radios and we were going to let him sit in the seat while we were at altitude. If there was anything he wanted to do, we were going to let him do it. No questions and no regrets.


Late afternoon on Friday, we were called and told the flight was canceled. Once again, I was upset except now we actually wanted to do the flight. We called the General’s office to find out why it was canceled. It was very simple and straight forward. Daniel was too sick to fly. I found out a week later that he passed away. One of my few regrets was that I never found out his full name or where he lived. Those of us that were going to do his Make A Wish flight, and several others would have all gone to his funeral. We felt a connection to him.



photo from “Our Courageous Katie”


I tell that story to tell you this. Heaven has a new occupant as of Tuesday morning. Our good friends, Chad and Sarah Cobb have a thirteen-year-old daughter, Katie, who got the cancer about a year ago. They were on their Make A Wish trip to Hawaii last week when she got sick. They came back home early and went to the Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati to see her medical staff. There was nothing more they could do except make her comfortable. She passed away at breakfast time on Tuesday morning.



I haven’t been able to read the full post they wrote on their website documenting Katie’s illness. There may be a lot of details that I am leaving out about their trip. It is a little much for me to think about right now. I highly recommend you taking the time to read their words and to back and see how to deal with a tragic event with honor and class. The Cobb Family has more of it in their little finger than I will ever have.



photo from “Our Courageous Katie”


Until next time, keep on rockin.

From → love, Uncategorized

  1. Donetta Akers permalink

    Nearly one year to the day Katie was diagnosed with Hodgkin she would pass away. Very heartbreaking for this family. Please keep them in your prayers for healing. Thank you Rob for posting.

  2. Linda Riffe permalink

    Hope. It is such a fragile thing, but we cling to it desperately. I will always remember the delight the library staff felt when the Cobbs visited the library or came to story hour, Chad studying in the quiet moments of the morning. As we try to grasp the enormity of this loss I try to take comfort in knowing Katie, already an angel here on earth, is now a heavenly one soaring through the skies.
    This was a lovely post, Rob, and I thank you.

    • It is scary to think how many lives we touch as we make our way though this life. Even in our little Mayberry town, there are so many people we think we don’t know until something significant happens that connects the dots.

      They are an amazing family and you are an amazing person. Thank you for remembering them and for helping me.

  3. Rob, My heart breaks for her family and her friends at the lost of this beautiful young lady. I pray for everyone who knew Katie that they can learn how to find joy and live how she would wish, remembering the job. Not the sorrow. Sobering reality today how short life is.

    • Karlene,

      From near or far. It doesnt matter when you send your prayers to them. It is an amazing think that an amazing God made for all of us.

      Stay blessed and congratulations on the next phase of your career!

  4. I can’t say I “liked” this post but I read it and it certainly touched my heart. Stories like this help keep my minor troubles in perspective. I said a little prayer for Katie, Daniel and their families…

    Thank you for posting this.

    • Doc,

      I dont like anything about it except that wonderful people like you are so generous with your thoughts and prayers. You are right in that it keeps things in perspective.

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