Friends remember Mildenhall airman killed in car crash
October 13, 2006
RAF MILDENHALL, England — Senior Airman Julious Hawkins was a dedicated member of the 100th Maintenance Squadron, as well as a guy who liked to listen to people and his iPod.
Hawkins, who died in a car crash early last Friday, was remembered during a ceremony Thursday afternoon at the RAF Mildenhall Chapel for the impression he made on others. Hawkins, 24, died after his car collided with a semi-truck on the A14 near Bury St. Edmunds, according to a 100th Air Refueling Wing spokesman.
He was driving west in the eastbound lanes of traffic when the accident occurred, base spokesman Capt. Jamie Humphries said earlier this week.
Those in attendance Thursday struggled to remember Hawkins’ life amid the pain.
“Our brother Julious was violently and swiftly taken from us,” said Chaplain (Capt.) Stuart King.
Hawkins worked the swing shift for the squadron and was a man who loved life and showed it to everyone he encountered, said Maj. John Franklin, the squadron’s commander.
He had planned to finish his enlistment and return to Hawaii, where he was raised, to work with his father, Franklin said.
While the senselessness of Hawkins’ death is apparent to all those who cared about them, those left behind must support each other, he said.
“Julious was one of us, and now a part of us is gone,” Franklin said.
Hawkins had many facets to his life and particularly loved his iPod, comic books and science fiction, said Tech. Sgt. Douglas McGraw, Hawkins’ shift supervisor.
He was also very introspective, honest and straightforward, qualities not easily apparent in some people, McGraw said.
Hawkins was a Buddhist, and Stacy Krieger — a Buddhist who practiced with Hawkins — said the airman didn’t speak much, but always said relevant things when he did open his mouth.
“Everyone here cared about Julious in some way,” Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Michael Moore said at the ceremony’s end. “If nothing else, Julious’ death reminds one of how fragile life is.”
Uniting the community can help staunch the pain, he said.
“It’s never easy to say goodbye,” Moore said.