Brent Blackmore is the son of fallen U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Richard Denham. He was in his first semester of college when he learned his father died. “The first year was a massive challenge and were it not for others helping me along the way, I most likely would not be where I am now after that event,” he said.
Being a pilot has been Brent’s dream since he was a small child. He grew up playing flight simulators on the computer and would lay in the yard counting the number of airplanes that flew overhead. “I always had my head in the clouds and a dream to one day soar among them,” Brent explained. “Aviation was a calling to me, something that I would not be able to be without, truly my passion,” he added.
With the help of Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, Brent graduated in May 2015 from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University with a degree in Aeronautics. Since then, he’s been fulfilling his aviation dreams by beginning his career with Skywest Airlines where he serves as First Officer.
“Fallen Patriots has meant the world to me, making an impact that words do little justice for. They helped to remove one of the greatest financial burdens those of my age deal with, and I am forever indebted to their cause.” Brent told Fallen Patriots he is proud to raise funds and awareness for the mission. He also knows his dad would be proud and said, “He would be proud of my tenacity and determination to be one of the best in the ground school classes and flight training.”
Brent’s advice to other students going through a similar experience is to know it’s okay not to be okay. “It’s okay to struggle, it’s okay to ask for help. Keep strong, the future is bright. As my grandfather would say in a difficult time, ‘Things are okay in the end. If they aren’t okay, it isn’t the end.’”
Nearly 20,000 military children have lost a parent in the line of duty over the past 35 years. Fallen Patriots is working to identify and support every child in need through raising funds and awareness of the mission.