The Associated Press just put out a blast profiling many of the victims of Friday’s massacre in Aurora, CO. One of the first things I noticed in the initial reporting was that two Air Force personnel were accounted for, but one Navy service member was still missing.
I kept hoping for this to be clarified as a misunderstanding. As the commotion died down, such a statement did not come. Reports started trickling in of Navy veteran Jonathan Blunk’s death by Saturday.
From the AP:
AURORA, Colo. (AP) — A U.S. Navy veteran who served three tours of duty in the Middle East. A 6-year-old girl excited about her swimming classes. A Target employee who shielded his girlfriend and her brother with his own body. They and nine others were killed in the shooting rampage during a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in a Denver suburb. Here are their stories:
Jonathan Blunk had high hopes for the future, with plans to re-enlist in the Navy and the goal of becoming a Navy SEAL.
The 26-year-old served three tours in the Persian Gulf and North Arabian Sea between 2004 and 2009, said close friend James Gillof Brighton, Colo.
“It was guts or glory for him,” Gill told The Associated Press. “It always surprised me that he didn’t serve in a situation more on the front line. He wanted to be a first responder on the front line.”
Blunk was also a certified firefighter and emergency medical technician, Gill added.
He died in the shooting Friday after throwing himself in front of friend Jansen Young and saving her life, she told the NBC “Today” show. He told her to stay down.“That’s something he would do,” Gill said. “If he was going to choose a way to die, that’s how he wanted to go — defending someone from a (person) like that.”
Blunk, a 2004 graduate of Hug High School in Reno, Nev., most recently lived in Aurora and worked for a small flooring company.
His estranged wife, Chantel Blunk, lives with their 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son in Reno.
I suppose he was likely still technically in the Individual Ready Reserve, and that’s why he was initially reported as a missing Navy service member.
Interview with his wife, Chantel Blunk
“He always said, if he was ever going to die, he was wanted to die a hero”
If you’ve got a little bit of money to donate, his wife could use it.
Chantel also told News Four because Jonathan wasn’t currently on active duty the military won’t cover the costs for his funeral or transportation home. The family has an account set up with Wells Fargo to help bring Jonathan home to Reno to be buried with military honors.
If you’d like to help you can donate in the name of Chantel Blunk to Wells Fargo account #8966815063.