Yesterday we received news that one of our Employees, Sgt. Charles Kitowski, was killed by a road side bomb in Afghanistan. I didn't know Charles personally, but it doesn't matter - he's family to all of us at Southwest and we are grieving this loss.
The comments have started pouring in from Employees that did know and love Charles. Please feel free to leave comments, share memories, or just offer words of support to his friends and family here. Comments for Charles, including one from his fiance, Berri, are also showing up on an April 9th post by Shelley.
My heart and prayers go out to the Kitowski family and Berri. God Bless all of you. - Bob Hearst
So sad to hear about the death of one of our SWA young men. As it is to hear of the deaths daily of young men and women in the military. They are all heroes! We do celebrate the return of one of BNA's Operations folks, SSgt Kelso, who will be back in Nashville on the 27th after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is one of the lucky ones: no injuries. We are thankful and grateful. We salute those who have died in serving their country, or who will carry their wounds for the rest of their lives.
A salute to Charles one of our Warrior Spirits who gave the ultimate sacrifice in serving our great nation. My thoughts and prayers are with your family and friends. - Eric Hoevers
I was deeply saddened to find out about the loss of my friend Charles. I had the pleasure of getting to know him through having lunch with him and a small group of others on the HDQ 3rd floor deck. Charles was always a funny guy, yet sincere and dedicated as well. I truly appreciate him for his service to our Country. -Paul Thompson
When I saw the news on our Employee website this morning about CharlesÃ¢â‚¬¦ tears immediately started falling down my face over a man I have never met. What a sign that we truly are family here at Southwest. To Berri and other family you will be in my thoughts and prayers in these days ahead. God Bless You and God Bless America. -Joshua Tibbs
It is never easy to comment when one of our nations finest, and a true hero of freedom, passes serving their country. The fact that this one was one of "our own" here at SWA only deepens the impact even more.
To quote Paul Watson, "In the great scheme of things, what matters is not how long you live, but why you live, what you stand for, and what you are willing to die for."
Charles lived to bring the Freedom to Fly to people all across this country, and he died protecting the core Freedoms that define this country. He will be missed by all of us at SWA. - Josh Luse
I am saddened by the news of one 'our own' losing his life in the service of our Country. By reading all the entries, Charles (Trey) seemed to touch lives in a special way and leave a little of himself with each person he met. He will surely be missed by all. Berri, this is goes to you.. remember the love he shared with you and as good a person as he sounds like he wasÃ¢â‚¬¦I bet so is his family.. you will all help each other.. my prayers go out to all who are hurting today.. God Bless you.. - Vonnie Selzer
Sgt. Charles B. Kitowski III, 31, of Farmers Branch, Texas. I live close to you and work where you worked. Unfortunately, I did not meet you personally but got to know you through this website. I write this with a heavy heart, expressing my deepest sympathy to your parents, Berri, family and friends. Hope that time will heal the unbearable pain and sadness. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. -Terri Vajdi
Everyone who proudly wears the uniform of one of our Armed Services and who willingly puts themselves in harm's way in order to "protect and serve" is worthy of our respect and gratitude, and those who make the ultimate sacrifice are the true heroes in our world. My thoughts and prayers go out to Charles' family, to Berri, and to all of Charles' Coworkers and friends at Southwest Airlines. - Sandy Nelson
Charles, you will be missed! May the Lord bless you and keep you. - Dav Watson
My heart aches for the friends and loved ones of all the fallen service members. I am saddened to know we have lost one of our own. - Cheryl Sullivan
I am still in shock this happened to you. It is very unreal, and still new to me, and even though I trust you are in a better place, your calm presence, trusting smile and caring spirit will be truly missed here on earth.
I will miss your sense of humor, and the fact that you always "got" mine. Your heart was always in the right place and no matter how many dogs, and cats, I asked you to adopt, you never once ignored my requests. You even helped by taking Bob, knowing how much of a "problem child " he was. I will miss your "Bob stories" and I know he and Annie will miss you terribly. You were the "best-est" friend they could have ever had.
I want to thank you for always helping our little group, from the dog houses you built, to delivering them personally, even if it meant driving a while to get there. You donated food and materials when we needed it, and your time when I know you didn't have it.
I will miss our joke everytime we saw each other at the same function or party of holding our hand up to our ear and saying, "Call me!"
I will miss seeing you and Berri together, and seeing how happy you were as a couple.
Berri, I don't know what I could say, except that I am truly sorry for your heart ache, as I am just as heart-felt for Mr and Mrs Kitowski.
Thank you for your son.
I will never forget you Charles, nor our friendship.
Call me! Tracie Fulce