Friends, co-workers remember tech sergeant killed in crash
August 7, 2003
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — During a memorial service at the base chapel here Tuesday, friends and co-workers remembered Tech. Sgt. Adam R. Peck as a charismatic person who would not let those around him “have a bad day.”
Peck, 27, was an inspection team member with the 35th Maintenance Squadron. He died July 23 in a Japanese hospital after his motorcycle collided with a truck at a city intersection about a mile from the base.
More than 200 people — most of them battle dress uniform-clad members of Misawa’s maintenance community — filled pews in the chapel, where a motorcyclist’s helmet, along with Peck’s desert-shade BDUs and chevrons, were displayed on a table at the altar.
Several of Peck’s associates offered remembrances of the sergeant, their voices occasionally overtaken by the roar of F-16 aircraft taking off from the base runway, the same fighter that Peck had served as a crew chief.
“There was very little that Adam couldn’t accomplish if he put his mind to it,” recalled Tech. Sgt. David Foster, a friend and co-worker. “He was focused, and one of the most charismatic persons I ever met.”
Foster marveled at how Peck, who entered the Air Force in 1994, had been promoted to the rank of technical sergeant in just eight years.
“He was very passionate about his love of motorcycles,” Foster told the gathering, “and while it can’t be justified, he died doing something he loved.”
Another co-worker, Tech. Sgt. Warren Hooks, remembered Peck’s zest for living.
“He was always full of life and excitement; he gave everything, but asked for nothing in return,” he said. “Adam wouldn’t let you have a bad day.”
In the 16th hour of a recent base wartime-exercise shift, Hooks said despite weariness among fellow co-workers, Peck had a way of looking at the positive side of their station in life.
“He once remarked, ‘We’ll be getting the next 12 hours off,’” said Hooks. “You just couldn’t get him down.”
Senior Airman Robert Nugen, another of Peck’s squadron co-workers, read from a letter he sent to Peck’s parents describing how he benefited from knowing the sergeant for a brief time.
“I worked with Adam for just one year, but he gave me confidence, and his smile was the most sincere smile you’ll ever see,” Nugen wrote to the parents.
Nugen called Peck “the brother I never had,” and said, “I’m going to miss him and his big smile.”
During his Misawa tour, Peck deployed with the 13th Fighter Squadron to Saudi Arabia for Operation Southern Watch and to Osan Air Base, South Korea, for Cope Thaw and Beverly Bulldog exercises.
During Tuesday’s service, Peck was posthumously awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal for meritorious service covering the period since he arrived at Misawa on Sept. 5, 2001.
As an F-16 crew chief, Sergeant Peck’s dedication and professionalism proved invaluable to the 13th Fighter Squadron’s operations, the citation read.
Especially noteworthy was the mission capable rate of 92.3 percent for his F-16 aircraft over a seven-month period, a rate that eclipsed the Pacific Air Forces standard by nearly 10 percent, the citation noted.
“It wasn’t luck, or a fluke thing, that Adam succeeded at everything he did,” said his commander, Maj. Kyle Cornell. “He led others to success, and we will miss him a lot.”
Peck hailed from Port Charlotte, Fla., and is survived by his parents.