Education Empowers

Darin believed education was a key to winning the war on terrorism. We cannot continue his work in Afghanistan, but we can carry on his mission of education in our community.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Message from Hurlburt Air Base

On July 3, 2013, my family and I had the privilege of touring the special ops training auditorium named in Darin's honor at the Hurlburt Air Force Base in Florida. We were vacationing in the area that week and it was such an amazing experience to see the facility and talk to some of the Airmen who knew and had worked with Darin.

The Commander of the base made a special stop to talk with us about Darin along with other senior officers. Darin's depth of knowledge, incredible leadership skills and kindness were stated over and over.

However, it is the story of the base' photographer that I want to specifically share.

She was present in the training building to take pictures of an Airman who was being promoted to Captain in the auditorium named after Darin. When she heard that we were there because of Darin,

Weatherford Family

she could not stop telling us about how kind and gracious Darin was to her and to everyone on base. She wanted to make sure I understood how much she thought of Darin and that everyone on base "felt the same way". As he did throughout his life, Darin left such an impression and therefore led others by his words, deeds and example. She is the reason there is a picture of our family to share with this note. It is with the main plaque honoring Darin in that building. She insisted on taking a picture and then making sure it got to me. It was that important to her to honor Darin in doing this for us. Darin had the unique skill in making everyone in a room feel included, important and heard.

Please honor Darin today by making a donation to his scholarship fund at:

For Darin,

Tim Weatherford

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Art in the Garden Raises over $6500

Darin’s mother, Chris Janne, invited friends and neighbors to spend the Mother's Day in her garden to help her celebrate Darin’s life while bringing awareness to the J. Darin Loftis Memorial Scholarship effort.  The garden tour and exhibit from local artists brought 200 people to the Janne home in Paducah, KY. With proceeds from an art auction and generous donations, over $6500 was raised for the scholarship fund.

Darin’s classmates, Calloway County Class of ’86 welcomed visitors and distributed information about the scholarship.

Jennifer Jarrett, CCHS class of ’86 and Deputy Director for the Greater Toledo Art Commission, was part of the Art in the Garden advisory team and helped in preparing for the event.

Several friends, neighbors, former teachers and classmates from Darin’s hometown of Murray, KY made the 45 mile trip to honor Darin and contribute to the scholarship fund which will benefit a graduate of Calloway County High School in Murray.
U.S. Army Major, Daniel Shane Wall, CCHS Class of ’86 and a childhood friend of Darin’s, visits with Darin’s mother. Shane is currently stationed at Ft Knox, KY

Classmates take time to reminisce about Darin and their years at Calloway County High School.

Additional photos of the event can be found on the Art in the Garden blog.
Photographs by Mark McCoy

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

J. D. Loftis Memorial

A heart warming video shown at the dedication of the Loftis Memorial Auditorium in February. A wonderful gift from Craig Breen and Lori Werth, a beautiful slide show presentation of his life with including a video of him giving his opinion of how the war on terrorism will be won.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Recently, two tributes have been bestowed in honor of Darin’s service to our country and his legacy of education.

Darin was instrumental in the construction of a new radio station in Qalat, Afghanistan. Started during his deployment with a PRT (Provincial Reconstruction Team) in 2009, it was completed and dedicated in January of this year. A plague with the inscription This plaque is dedicated to the memory of Lt. Col. John Darin 'Esan' Loftis. Humanitarian, airman, father and loving husband whose dedication and vision saw through the building of this radio station,” written in both Pashto and English, was hung at the entrance to the new station. Located in the Zabul Province, one of the lowest literacy areas in Afghanistan, the station is vital to getting information from the government to the people.

As a testimony of his affection for the Afghan people, his Afghan friend and director of the radio station, Bismullah Lodin, said the following, “He worked in our country and we could tell he loved what he did. He worked for everyone. He was very honest. Every time he was working for the benefit of the public. He lost his life for Afghan people, for Afghan Muslim people, for all peoples. We are so proud of him. He was a good guy and working for the benefit of Afghanistan. He was here, and he made an effort to solve Afghanistan problems...He worked to erase corruption. Everyone loved him here. There was no one like Loftis. We work with so many different colonels but there was no one like him. We are praying for him, we will always remember him.”

On February 25, one year from the day he died in Kabul, Afghanistan, the large auditorium at the Special Operations School at Hulbert Field, Florida was named Loftis Auditorium in Darin’s memory and honor. It is the auditorium where he taught when he was not on deployment. On a video shown at the ceremony, Darin was heard to say “I don’t like the term hearts and minds because that can be twisted to just about anything, but what I do believe is that the people are the objective and enabling the government to serve the needs of its people is how the war is going to be won.” During another interview Darin talks about the empowerment of education in enabling the Afghan people to govern themselves.

The J.Darin Loftis Memorial Scholarship is an appropriate tribute to his legacy of education.

For more about the dedications and his work in Afghanistan, click here.