Classmates Look to Honor Fallen Soldier
By WestKyStar Staff
MURRAY, KY - Members of the Calloway County High School Class of 1986 are joining to honor the memory of a classmate who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this year by establishing a scholarship bearing his name.
John Darin Loftis, a Special Operations officer with the U.S. Air Force, was shot and killed in Kabul, Afghanistan on February 25. The scholarship, established in recognition of Loftis' commitment to service and learning, will be awarded annually to a CCHS senior demonstrating academic excellence, interest in international affairs, and community service.
The scholarship committee hopes to raise $30,000 over the next five years. The money will be placed in an endowment fund, allowing the scholarship to be awarded annually. The committee says they are encouraging donations from those who knew Loftis, as well as those who did not, but would like to honor his service to his country.
While a student at CCHS, Loftis excelled in language and science, and was named Most Studious by his classmates during his senior year. He graduated from Vanderbilt University and served in the Peace Corps before joining the U.S. Air Force. During the course of his military career, he earned three master's degrees.
Loftis was one of only a few Air Force officers who could speak the Pashto language, which enabled him to work side-by-side with the Afghan military and police. His priority there was to resolve public safety issues while respecting the religion and tradition of the Afghan people.
The John Darin Loftis Scholarship is being administered by the Community Foundation of West Kentucky. The Community Foundation accepts contributions for endowment funds and assures that the funds are managed in compliance with donor intent for the long-term.
Contributions to the fund may be made via check to the Community Foundation of West Kentucky, P.O. Box 7, Paducah, KY 42002-0007 with a note in the memo field, John Darin Loftis Scholarship Fund.
Information provided by Jennifer Jarrett, member of the Loftis scholarship committee.