Hurlburt Field honors fallen hero

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Family, friends, and members of the 25th Intelligence Squadron came together here Sept. 23 to celebrate the life of a retired master sergeant who recently passed away from brain cancer.

"Thank you all for attending today's ceremony for our hero, retired Master Sgt. Navid "G" Garshasb," said Lt. Col. Jared Patrick, 25th IS commander, to the somber crowd.

Garshasb was assigned to the 25th IS as a direct support operator and linguist on a MH-53 Pave Low helicopter.

"I felt blessed to be a part of this unit when Navid arrived," said his former commander Col. Randy Jacobson, who is currently the Air Force Special Operations Command A2 deputy. "I will miss his grin, grace and uncompromising virtue."

Those who attended the service learned about the accolades bestowed upon Garshasb during his years on active duty.

For example, after suffering multiple severe injuries following a helicopter crash, Garshasb diffused a potentially hostile situation by warning local Afghan villagers to stay away from the crash site.

His heroic actions earned him a Bronze Star and the Pitsenbager Award, which is normally designated for pararescue personnel.

"G -man," as referred to by his loved ones, was the first to receive such a high regard from the Air Force Sergeants Association.

"My life was enriched by him," said retired Col. Ron Chilcote, who championed the cause of the award. "It was the right thing to do."

Fellow Pave Low crew member from that faithful night were in attendance; paying last respects to a man they said was "legendary."

"To the family, thank you for allowing Navid to save us while supporting him," said former MH-53 Pave Low gunner Senior Master Sgt. Clint Grizzel, Air Force Air Warfare Center senior enlisted manager.

The Hurlburt Field Honor Guard ceremoniously folded Garshasb's interment flag while a four-man detail performed a gun salute outside the chapel.

"Navid was a tremendous difference in service to our nation," said Maj. Gen. John Shanahan, Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency commander. "He was humble, kind, thoughtful, dedicated and a true professional."

Garshasb left a legacy never to be forgotten.

His courageous acts will forever be enshrined at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. The base unveiled an NCO Academy flight room in his honor last year.