Hugo Sailor Remembered

10-13-05 - The Oklahoma sailor that was killed last week in the Arabian Gulf was remembered in his home town Wednesday.

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian Joplin, 32, died after falling out of a helicopter during a training mission between Bahrain and Kuwait last week. The navy is investigating the accident.

For the sailor who spent most of his life in Hugo, Oklahoma, Wednesday was a chance for his family, friends, and shipmates to say goodbye.

Joplin left Hugo 13 years ago to do what he loved: serve for the protection of his country.

He had come back to visit friends and family over the years, and Wednesday they were all there as Brian Joplin made one final stop in Hugo.

This reunion though would be the last.

They knew that he loved to fly since he learned that his grandfather flew a B-25 in World War Two. Helicopters had been Joplin's passion, and it was a passion that he perfected as a mechanic.

But it wasn't Brian Joplin the sailor, or Brian Joplin the mechanic that will be missed the most. It was the husband, father, friend and neighbor that stood out.

The tears flowed from the shipmates he traveled the world with as well as the ones he left behind, but there was solace to be found.

Joplin died doing what he loved, serving his country. Friends and family all shared the same sentiment -- if you have to go, best to go doing what you love.

As the service, the pastor said Brian Joplin is flying higher than he ever has before.

Joplin leaves behind a wife and two young daughters. His body will now be taken to Tucson, Arizona, where he will be buried.