February 25, 2012, Lt Col John Darin Loftis, a 1986 graduate of
Calloway County High School (CCHS), and a Special Operations officer with the
U.S. Air Force, was shot and killed in . Fluent in
Pashto, he also spoke Dari, the local languages. Darin was back in Afghanistan
for his second tour. His service in the Air Force was highlighted by his search
for a different approach to American military presence in Kabul,
Afghanistan Afghanistan in which the military worked side-by-side with the
Afghan military and police to resolve issues of public safety with respect for
religion and tradition. He had
been given the Pashto name of Esan, meaning the quality of being generous.
When the news media broke the story of Darin’s death in the shooting of two officers inside the highly secured Afghanistan Interior Ministry, his CCHS classmates began to share their memories on Facebook, email, and on the phone. As a high school student, Darin excelled in languages and the sciences, but his wide-ranging interests also included playing the oboe in the high school band as well as participating in track, football, and tennis. He was voted Most Studious by his classmates his senior year. He went on to graduate from
and serve in the
United States Peace Corps before beginning his service in the U. S. Air Force.
During the course of his Air Force career, he earned three master’s degrees.
Darin demonstrated a life of service and lifelong learning. Vanderbilt University
Based on their conversations on Facebook and email, members of the 1986 graduating class have set a goal to raise $30,000 over the next five years to fund an endowed scholarship in his name to honor and remember Darin’s service and commitment. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a CCHS senior demonstrating academic excellence, interest in international affairs, and community service. Indicators may include intent to study foreign languages, academic record, and volunteerism. Pledges presently total about $7500. The class is hoping the community will choose to support this scholarship fund in honor of Darin’s military service.
Class members recognized their own limitations to accept and manage funds and researched community foundation options available in http://www.cfwestky.org/
Western Kentucky, and identified the Community Foundation of West
Kentucky, which has a affiliate. The
Community Foundation accepts contributions for scholarship funds and other
community purposes and assures that that the funds are managed in compliance
with donor intent for the long-term. Murray-Calloway County