The Influence of Captain Osterhout
By Lt. Greta Lewis, 174th Fighter Wing
/ Published August 05, 2009
Hancock Field, Syracuse, NY -- The young chaplain at the 174th Fighter Wing has gone on to answer the higher calling to worship at God's side, and our loss is His gain.
Captain Jay Osterhout was lost to the 174th Fighter Wing family when his vehicle ran off the road after suffering a fatal heart attack on June 18, 2009. Certainly his wife, Christy, and his two young daughters, Abigail and Breanna, will miss him very much, but his presence will definitely be missed among his military family members, as well.
If you were fortunate enough to cross paths with this young captain, you would know that he was a kind and gentle soul; a person that knew no enemies, and he always had a story to tell you. He was always visiting work areas and gently encouraging and inviting everyone to attend Protestant services, which he was always very quick to let you know was held on Sunday mornings of the drill at 1130 and usually in the Wing Conference Room. Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Decker said, "He was certainly a servant of the Lord's, gracious to counsel and advise. He did everything we asked him to do."
Whenever I was rushing about to put out some fires and prevent others, I would run into him quite often. And no matter how busy I was, it was always nice to take a moment to chat with him, even if it was only for five minutes, which is usually about as much time as I would have to spare. But as was his nature, he would always invite me to service, and I would always tell him, "If I don't have anything going on at that time, I will."
Of course, I never went. Not because I didn't want to, but because I never found the time. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, especially on a drill weekend when we must try to "fit it all in," we keep rushing here and there trying to get to every appointment. Sometimes we must slow down. Otherwise, life will pass us by.
Most people are always trying to get it all in and get it all done, instead of appreciating the little things in life like taking your son to his little league game, pushing your daughter on the swings, or taking a quiet walk along the beach with the person you love. Yes, we must work, but to maximize our time here on earth, we must also live, laugh and love.
As I saw Capt Osterhout going around, he was always leisurely, yet purposeful at the same time. Even though I was in a rush, I would slow down to his pace, and I would always realize that I was missing something.
Now with his untimely passing, I intend to look to his example to slow down and take my time to see things in their true beauty, and not with the blur that I normally do while I'm going from point A to point B. I will remember him and his caring nature, but as Father Decker said, "He will truly, truly be missed."
If you have a need to speak with someone this weekend, please contact the chaplain on duty at 315-233-2642.