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In Memoriam: Chief Hannigan

  • Published
  • By Col. David Ciesielski
  • 161st Mission Support Group Commander
Copperheads, some days you just don’t feel like yourself.  Some days you know who you are and what you are supposed to do, but something still remains “off.”  Today, is definitely one of those days for many of us here at the 161st Air Refueling Wing.  

Sadly, we learned that one of our fellow Copperheads, retired Chief Master Sgt. Duncan Hannigan, forever slipped the surly bonds of Earth and passed away after a significant health struggle. Honestly, it has left me empty inside, and I know I am not alone.  

Of course, we all understand that death is part of life. But, we may feel empty because we really never got to say goodbye to Chief Hannigan.  You may or may not know that Duncan retired at the end of December but had to indefinitely delay his retirement ceremony for health reasons.  

Because of that, the wing never celebrated his service to his country and we never got to thank him for his unyielding positive attitude for the mission, and most importantly, his Airmen. So today, I just don’t feel like myself.  Like a novel with the last page torn out, the journey somehow feels incomplete. I miss my fellow Copperhead. 

Chief Hannigan was a very special person and he leaves a legacy of happy memories, duty to country, and an unmatched caring spirit.  He will forever remain in our hearts even though we didn’t get to officially say thank you and, more importantly, goodbye.  

For my personal closure, I am going to honor Duncan’s spirit by taking the time to thank other Copperheads for their service and for being a part of our outstanding team.  Moreover, like Duncan, I will be there for others in need.  I hope you do the same because Father Time waits for no-one.  

God speed Chief Master Sgt. Duncan D. Hannigan.  Thank you for your service and your friendship through the years. I will never forget you.

~ Your Fellow Copperhead