Massachusetts reservist dies during training mission in Hawaii

By PATRICK JOHNSON | masslive.com | Published: January 18, 2021

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Tribune News Service) — Master Sgt. Scott W. Blais, an Air Force Reserve airman from East Longmeadow, Mass., died suddenly while on a training mission in Hawaii, Westover Air Reserve Base announced Monday.

Blais, 47, was pronounced dead Sunday at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham due to natural causes, according to a statement issued by Col. Craig C. Peters, commander for the 439th Airlift Wing.

Blais, a flight engineer assigned to the 337th Airlift Squadron, was in Hawaii as part of a regularly scheduled training mission.

“Scott was an invaluable member of the Patriot Wing for more than 16 years and his sudden loss is heartfelt across the wing as he and his family remain in our thoughts and prayers,” Peters said.

“All efforts are now focused on providing critical support to Scott’s family as they go through this difficult time,” he said. “I’m extremely proud of our leadership and support teams who immediately sprang into action to not only support Scott’s family, but to also assist fellow Airmen and friends.”

Blais is survived by his wife and two children. He had been assigned to Westover since 2004.

Members of the 377th launched a GoFundMe on Monday with a goal of raising $25,000 to aid Blais’ family. As of Tuesday morning, the drive, named Family of Scott Blais 337 AS Flight Engineer, it had generated 145 donations totaling $21,060.

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