Dustin Harrison – American Hero and my Nextdoor Neighbor.

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Who is Dustin Harrison to me?
He was the kid that moved in nextdoor in 1980...

I have only spoken to him a few times since we grew up and I watched his life from afar on facebook. I saw him post about his new wife, his beautiful baby and other stuff but I never new what a TRUE AMERICAN HERO he was until now.

I truly can not believe how much this has affected me, the tears just keep running. I am in awe about who he is...

So last night I had a dream about him and it went like this. I flew down to Arizona to meet his wife and daughter and when I got to the airport he picked me up. Yes!!! HE picked me up and we talked about stuff that happened when we where kids. Like the time he drove his moms (Donna Harrison) car through the wall of the brand new garage his father had just built. How his mother came to our house terrified of what his father would do. ( As expected his father showed up with love in his heart to retrieve his wife and son. His father was an amazing man that I had a lot of respect for. He also passed away far to early.)

After I arrived at his home I meet his wife and as we spoke Dustin laid on the couch and as his friend and family came into the house and begun sharing there stories he just faded away. (I'm crying now just writing this.)

When I woke up I decided to write this article. Please, please, please, if you know Dustin Harrison comment on this post or even better send me an email dave@medialegends.com I will post it here. I am also interested in doing podcast via phone or in person, shooting videos or anything else you want to help tell this American Hero's Story.

And Dustin, I can't wait to see you in heaven and hear all about your amazing life first hand. Thank you for your service to this country and I love you brother...

I have not met his amazing wife Hope Harrison and most beautiful daughter Heaven Harrison yet, but I hope to.

Please Donate:

Click on this link to help them in their time of need and beyond. https://www.gofundme.com/f/during-harrison-family

 

‘He kind of led a secret life’: Heroic pilot’s family shares his sacrifice to stop terrorism

Auburn High School graduate Dustin Harrison had the type of dangerous, adventurous, top-secret job that Tom Cruise might play in a movie. His job as an expert civilian contract pilot for the U.S. Dept. of Defense didn't allow him to share details of the anti-terror spy missions he flew around the world with anyone.

Dustin Harrison: A Tribute to the Slain Contract Pilot

Dustin Harrison, who was named by family members as one of the Americans who were murdered in a terrorist attack on a base in Kenya, was a contract pilot for the U.S. military remembered as a hero and a “patriot.”

Auburn graduate among 3 Americans killed by rebels in Kenya

Dustin Harrison was seven days away from calling it quits as a private contractor, piloting a twin-engine Beechcraft King Air 350 with cameras and sensors for aerial survey.

Then, on Sunday, al-Shabab Islamist extremists overran a key counterterror base in Kenya used by American forces. Harrison, 47, a 1990 Auburn High School graduate, was killed with two other Americans.

Arizona man among victims killed in terrorist attack on military base in Kenya

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5)-- An Arizona woman says her husband was one of the three Americans who were killed Sunday in a terror attack at a military base in Kenya.

McSally Announces 2020 State of the Union Guest: Hope Harrison

U.S. SENATE—U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) announced today that Hope Harrison of Tucson will be her guest at the president’s third State of the Union tomorrow, February 4th.

Arizona senators brought guests from Tucson to Trump’s State of the Union

TUCSON - Arizona's senators were at President Trump's State of the Union on Tuesday night and both Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema brought guests from right here in Tucson.

Pilot from Tucson among those killed in Kenya attack

By JOHN VANDIVER | STARS AND STRIPES

STUTTGART, Germany — An Arizona man contracted to fly aircraft for the U.S. military was among those killed Sunday when Somali militants attacked a base in Kenya, a local television station reported.

Washington native killed in attack at Kenya military base

Author: Brit Moorer (KING5)

Dustin Harrison, who grew up in Auburn and Federal Way, was killed when Al-Shabab extremists overran a military base used by U.S. counter-terror forces.

Pilot from Washington among Americans killed in terror attack at Kenya military base

A contract pilot and Washington native was one of the Americans killed in an attack by Al-Shabab extremists on a Kenya military base on Jan. 5.

Read stories or add your own about this amazing Husband, Father, Family and Friend to us all.

5 thoughts on “Dustin Harrison – American Hero and my Nextdoor Neighbor.

  1. I grew up nextdoor to Dustin Harrison and I am so sad to hear about what happened. When I learned of some of what he did with his life I was amazed and very proud of him. I hope more people leave stories about him here so we can all learn about this amazing man. A true American Hero. My heart felt prayers go out to his family in this difficult time.. I love you guys and hope to talk to all of you soon. If you have a problem leaving a comment write me directly at dave@medialegends.com and mention Dustin

  2. I lived one house over from Dustin. I first met him when I’d say he was about 7 years old. He quickly became good friends with my brother Sean, so I’d see him often at my place. They were busy running through the trails in the woods or riding bikes. He was such a sweet, friendly little boy. I still see his sweet little face, thick blond curly hair and glasses. He loved animals.

    Like Dave, I didn’t stay in touch with him after we had moved in 1983, but was happy to touch base with friends of the neighborhood and follow each other through facebook, Dustin included. Life has kept me busy but I do see, and the tears fell the sad day his wife posted about his tragic end and continued to fall. My heart breaks for Dustin’s mother, Donna Harrison, Dustin’s daughter, his lovely wife and his siblings Troy and Heidi.

    Taken long before he was supposed to go just leaves this empty void. I am keeping the Harrison family in my thoughts and prayers, and my eyes are still leaking.

  3. Here’s an unedited version of my speech from Dustin’s memorial:

    Let me take you back to 1984. 84’ was the summer of my 5th grade year. It’s the year my family built our home and the Harrison’s lived across the street. I first became friends with his sister Heidi and I then met Dustin. Soon after we became inseparable. We didn’t have an ordinary friendship, rather it was more like what you would have read in books like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. We lived in a very rural area between Auburn and Black Diamond and our families lived on a long private road each sitting on 5 acres surrounded by woods, swampy areas and nearby lakes. It truly was a perfect playground for young boys to play out their daily adventures. We discovered abandoned wells, built forts, climbed treehouses, rode our bikes everywhere, shot anything and everything with our pellet guns, the memories are truly countless. We were so curious, always looking for adventure. One time we had a really cold winter where lake Holmes froze over, so there we were riding our bikes all around it, throwing large rocks toward the middle of the lake to hear the crazy sound of the ice cracking. “That’s so cool maybe we can break it!” lol. Soon after one of the residents of the lake started yelling at us to get off the lake, so off we went laughing and adventuring as best friends do. Throw saw blades at the barn door like they were ninja stars? This has to be ok with your parents right? Wagners hobby shop was a favorite hangout where we purchased model cars and planes and in later years RC cars and planes. As we grew, we went through the awkward stage together hitting the pre teen and teen years fully outfitted with mullets, Levi jackets and jeans finished with white Reebok’s. This was the obvious outfit for our first concert, AC DC. I’ll never forget the night we snuck my mothers car out at night so we could go see our girlfriends across town. After pushing it down the dirt road we panicked as we couldn’t start the car. Dustin said “wait I think we have to push the clutch in then turn the key to start it” and boom the car started and our adventure began. Funny thing is that when we drove the car back and rolled it into the garage it was wet from all the rain. We grabbed some towels to dry it off and just as we were about to finish the last couple of wipes my mom swings open the door and asks “what are you doing?” Our answer was “well we thought we would get up early and get ready for our ski trip” as my mom was going to take us skiing that morning. She said ok, shut the door and we about crapped our pants knowing we almost got caught lol. My family camped often and I remember how much fun he had on one of our trips to the Washington coast. We had countless dinners at each other’s families and we inevitably became something more than just friends, we were family, brothers.
    As we grew so did our adventures. A drivers license meant “the race was on” and we challenged each other in our VW bugs. Our hobby with RC planes soon turned into Cessnas as we went to ground school together talking about how cool it would be once we got our licenses. Dustin took aviation all the way this was his true passion. He was off to college for flight school and through the years we always kept in touch and made time to see each other. The thing about Dustin is that he was selfless. I went through a stage of self discovery and although I didn’t see him as much as I could have we would always pick right up where we left off when we met again.
    Fast forward to today he continued to fly but with danger as part of the job. And he discovered another passion in life which was his family. He met the love of his life, got married and soon after had a beautiful daughter. He re-evaluated his career for his family and started to lay down a plan of transitioning his passion of flying into something more secure and safe. Being a husband to his wife and father to his daughter was his new passion in life. But tragedy unexpectedly took his life and although I’m mad and hurt I would do it all over again. I find myself often asking why did this have to happen, why Dustin? I was hoping to get some kind of signal or message from him, something to give me an opportunity to feel connected to my friend one more time. When I started to write this I took notice of a documentary that was on TV about the PBS show and personality Mr. Rodgers. It was recapping a speech regarding the people who made you feel special. It was so touching that I felt it was the signal I was looking for.

    “Let’s take some time to think of those extra special people. Some of them are maybe right here, some maybe far away, some may even be in Heaven, no matter where they are, deep down you know they’ve always wanted what’s best for you. They’ve always cared about you beyond measure, and have encouraged you to be true to the best within you.”

    Dustin, this is you. I’m a better man because of you. You’ve given me a special friendship that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for your love. And thank you for your friendship.

  4. Awesome Peter and thank you for sharing your story. Funny thing is Troy and I shared a similar story. We BORROWED my parents car and I accidentally jumped it off the cliff at Lake Money Smith. I lived in the house right across the street from you. I remember when you moved in.. I was older I graduated in 84 but I remember your house being built and you. I have a plan with all these comments so I hope I get enough, if I do I will put together a video with narration about his life and stories. We will see… Thanks Again!

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