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.