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Honor flight to take place one year after Gilbert pilot's death in Kenya attack

Posted at 8:09 AM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 22:09:56-05

GILBERT, AZ — Tuesday will mark one year since a military contractor and pilot from Gilbert, Dustin Harrison, was killed in a terror attack in Kenya.

"He chose to do what was best for everyone, rather than just himself, which ultimately led to his death," said Hope Harrison, Dustin's wife.

Dustin was working as a contractor for the U.S. Department of Defense and was one of multiple Americans killed in the attack.

"I'm the wife of a hero and I will live to honor him," Hope said. "I will raise our daughter in honor of him just because of the special person he is."

Hope says her 3-year-old daughter, Heaven, is just like her father.

"She loves everything aviation," Hope said. "She loves the sky. Every time she sees an airplane, she always thinks it's her daddy and I tell her it's daddy's friends."

On Monday, the family will have the chance to fly in his honor. Tony Anger runs the non-profit Grounded No More, Inc. It gives veterans and now gold star families a once-in-a-lifetime flight in his historic World War II aircraft.

"We pray this is a way we can give back to them and have a wonderful memory in a year that's been tragic for them," Anger said. "Just a way for us to have a smile on our face as long as they're having a smile on their face as well."

Hope says she will continue telling Dustin's story in order to bring awareness about the sacrifice military troops and civilian contractors make every day.

"Who are arm-and-arm with our military and often never seen," Hope said. "It's more to bring awareness and appreciate our men and women overseas and the families that are left behind."