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Goodbye Joe Andrzejewski

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About an hour ago I found out that my good friend of 22 years Joe Andrzejewski passed away today from a medical condition. When I met Joe he was the Commander of the "HALO Committee," the old name for the MFF Schoolhouse then at Ft. Bragg. I made a lot of jumps with Joe, and we shared a lot of good laughs. I am very sad to see him go. In memory of MAJ (Ret.) "Jumpin Joe" Andrzejewski, D8826 Blue Skies, Black Death.
Arrive Safely

John

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I was shocked and saddened to hear about this earlier tonight. Joe was one of the few really great people you will know in a lifetime. I first met him back in the days of the HALO Committee at Ft Bragg. We are all better off to have known him, and he will be missed.

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Just heard about it myself. I saw Joe not that long ago, right after he got out of the hospital in fact. I am deeply saddened by this news. :(:(
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
SKYMONKEY PUBLISHING

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I found this article that Joe wrote for the American Legion "Veteran's Corner" column in 2005. I added the bold emphasis, which means a great deal to me personally because of my connection with Joe.

Quote

In 1956, Captain Jacques-Andre Istel envisioned a “skydiving” method that would “place men silently, unobserved and accurately in enemy-held territory”. The Commander of the Special Warfare Center, Fort Bragg, NC approved Istel’s training concept and in March 1957, members of the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) attended the first Basic Free Fall Parachuting Course, conducted at Fort Bragg, NC. MAJ Lucien Conein, a former OSS (Office of Strategic Services) operative and French speaking Commander of FC-1, served as project officer and became the first officer in charge of MFF (military free fall) training within the Special Warfare Center.

The history of this advanced infiltration technique includes many impressive achievements, from the first combat HALO (high altitude low opening) insertions into Laos during the Vietnam War to the recent successful MFF operations into Afghanistan and Iraq by SOF (special operations forces). In 1995, the USSOCOM (US Special Operations Command) directed all MFF training to be consolidated and further directed the US Army to move the training site to Yuma Proving Ground, AZ. To date there have been over 35,000 parachutists trained.

On 24 September, the Military Freefall School hosted the 10th Annual Ball for instructors, friends and family. I was honored to have been requested to attend as the guest speaker, after having served as the commander from 1984 to 1986 at Fort Bragg. It was a critical period for the school, where the course expanded from a cadre of 22 to 70+ instructors to accommodate a threefold increase in student attendance. The school adopted two exceptional training techniques leveraged from the civilian skydiving community; accelerated freefall and tandem training, in what proved to be a very successful effort at improving the quality of instruction and increasing the graduation rate for the SOF community. It was also the period where the first proposal was submitted to move the school to Yuma, AZ where the weather and airspace availability provided a training environment conducive to year round high altitude training.

The landscape, facilities and equipment have changed over the years, but the instructors remain some of the most professional, dedicated and highly proficient practitioners of the art of high altitude parachuting. It is fitting, because an instructor affects minds and hearts for an eternity; no one knows how far his influence goes, for those he trains influence others they meet.

Joe Andrzejewski (aka Gonzo), MAJ (Ret), US Army Special Forces
Inducted as a lifetime member in the “Brotherhood and Lineage” of the US Army Military Free Fall School, September 24, 2005





Joe's influence on me continues to reach others that I have the privilege of teaching, coaching, or mentoring in both the Military Free Fall and sport skydiving communities.
Arrive Safely

John

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From the acknowledgements page of Clive Cussler's "Atlantis Found" (1999):

Quote

"I am very grateful to Major (Retired) Joe Andrzejewski for his generous and valuable advice on the Special Forces"



Clive Cussler has long been my favorite author. I got this book for Christmas in 1999 and broke it open to enjoy during the long flight from NC to AZ back in January 2000. I opened the cover to find Joe's name.

Joe was quite accomplished, but so unassuming that he didn't tout his accomplishments - rather he valued the contributions he made to the many groups and communities he was a part of.
Arrive Safely

John

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Funeral arrangements:

Bradley Funeral Home
601 Route 73 South
Marlton, NJ 08053
856.983.1005

http://www.bradleyfuneralhome-marlton.com/

Thursday May 27, 2010
Viewing: 1200-1400 hrs.
Funeral services immediately following the viewing.
There will be no burial. He will be cremated.

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations in Joe’s name be made to the DAV or any veterans organization of your choice.
Arrive Safely

John

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The Link to Joe's obituary where you can leave comments can be found HERE


ANDRZEJEWSKI, Joseph A., Major (Retired) U.S. Army Special Forces Died unexpectedly on May 21, 2010 at the age of 54. Resident of Marlton, NJ. Husband of 24 years to Gillian. Beloved father of Dylan. Brother of Donna Brazinski. Son of the late Vincent and Phyllis Andrzejewski. He is also survived by his uncle Frank and aunt Mary Jane Forlin.

In 1977 he earned his BA from Kings College. He received his MPA from Troy State University in 1988. Joseph's military career began when he completed ROTC and was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army. He would go on to graduate from Ranger School as well as the elite Special Forces.

A few of his innumerable military accomplishments and positions held over nearly two decades of service include: Chief, Military Freefall Branch and Combat Development Officer, JFK Special Warfare Center; Commander, Special Forces Operational Detachment, Berlin, Germany; Field Office Chief, Special Projects Support Activity (SPSA) Fort Bragg, NC; R&D Officer and Section Chief, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment; and Program Manager, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).

Relatives and friends are invited to the viewing on Thursday May 27th from 12:00 Noon - 2:00 PM at The BRADLEY FUNERAL HOME, Rt. 73 & Evesham Rd., Marlton, NJ. Funeral Service will be 2:00 PM at the funeral home on Thursday. Interment will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Joseph's memory to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) or any veteran organization of your choice
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
SKYMONKEY PUBLISHING

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The last time I saw Joe was in Reno.

He was the same old Joe That I always knew, with a big smile, just happy to see and talk to people.

His passing just made the Nylon wallet and old PC's he gave me a little more special.

Thanks for the memories Joe!

MEL
Skyworks Parachute Service, LLC
www.Skyworksparachuteservice.com

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