Sodus, New York, US
United States Marine Corps
SGT, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 (VMMT-204)
Camp LeJeune, US, 12/11/2000
“It’s important to me for people to remember the sacrifices they made,” said Osprey widow Patty Buyck of Ontario, N.Y., whose husband, Sergeant Jason Buyck, died in a crash just outside Jacksonville.
The Fallen Friends 5-kilometer Road Race in Maysville was started as a positive way to remember the four aviators lost in the Dec. 11, 2000, crash of an MV-22 Osprey in a remote area of the Hofmann Forest northwest of Jacksonville.
“I want people to come out, have fun, relax and not stress about the run,” Patty said. “It was easy for me the first year because I was still living in Jacksonville. Last year I drove down, and this year I decided to fly.” Patty Buyck said the annual run is an event that tends to bring her jumble of emotions into check in a way which makes the tragedy easier to handle.
Running has been a way of life for Patty, who met her late husband Jason on the cross country team when they were in junior high school.
“My fear is that I’ll forget certain aspects of him if I don’t keep doing things like this,” Patty said. “Talking about the memories kind of brings things together and it comforts me.”
On Dec. 11, 2000, Sergeant Jason Buyck, 24, a graduate of Sodus Central School, was killed along with three other Marines when his Osprey helicopter crashed during a test flight training mission in North Carolina.
On May 31, his parents, Jim and Karen Buyck, who live in Wallington, traveled to Quantico, Va., to the Marine Corps Museum, for the dedication of a memorial for their son and seven others who died in two separate Osprey crashes in 2000.
Karen said for six years, the families of the Marines raised the funds to build the memorial to their loved ones. The military dedication ceremony was marked with an Osprey fly-over and full military honors. The band Homeland sang a song they wrote about the Osprey and the people on it.
It was the first time the families of all of the Marines killed during the test flights got together since the crash.
“It was a time to reunite and celebrate their lives,” Karen Buyck said.
The families of the eight Marines raised $85,000 for the 10-foot-tall, black granite obelisk that will stand in Semper Fidelis Memorial Park on the grounds of the National Museum of the Marine Corps. The museum opened in November 2006 and the memorial stands just outside the main gate.