Moody honors fallen comrade

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ceaira Tinsley
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs
Airmen, family and friends gathered at the base chapel here to say their final goodbyes and honor the life of Tech. Sgt. Marissa Hartford during a memorial service Oct. 16.

Hartford was a member of the 723rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and she passed away Oct. 14, due to medical complications.

The Montana native graduated from high school in 2006 and enlisted in the Air Force as an integrated instrument flight control systems technician.

Upon completion of technical training, Hartford was stationed at Moody AFB for nine years, where she held several different duties titles.

"As little as my words can mean today, what you hear from me is important, even if only to highlight the privilege we enjoy because we got to know and be changed by the kind of person and NCO we served with," said Tech. Sgt. Michael Sessions, the 723rd AMXS assistant first sergeant. "The only option for showing how meaningful Hartford was to you and to me is to remember her and make the most of the opportunities we have now.

"Because of her commitment, she made this life her life," Sessions continued. "She was dedicated to the principles that made America free. She had such a magnificent heart, and she was totally committed to her family, friends and her profession. The priorities in her life gave her a sense of purpose that inspires us all. Tech. Sergeant Hartford lived out her commitment and we celebrate her loyalty of a life well lived even as we mourn her."

Those who knew Hartford described her as dedicated and, Keri, Hartford's best friend, said what she will remember most is Hartford's heart of gold.

During her time at Moody, Hartford volunteered about 700 hours to a local riding organization whose mission is designed to help rehabilitate Defense Department personnel.

"(Hartford) was one of the most caring and selfless people I have ever met," Keri said. "She loved animals and you know what they say, animals can sense a good person. (However), I didn't need animals to tell me she was a good person."

Hartford enjoyed karate, snow skiing, horseback riding, fishing and spending time with her husband, Jed, and their son, Wyatt, according to family members.

As the ceremony came to an end, guests in attendance took time to reflect on the memories they will keep of Hartford as the base honor guard rendered military honors and executed a three-volley salute.