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Never Giving Up | by Jacob Centeno

My name is Jacob Centeno and I am the surviving son of Senior Chief Petty Officer Daniel R. Healy. My dad was killed in action June 28th of 2005 when his QRF (rescue) helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. He is survived by a sizable family, including myself and his three daughters – Jasmine, Sasha and Chelsea.

Just one year prior, after a game of basketball, we were walking home when he stopped me outside and told me his platoon (SDVT-1) had received their orders for Iraq. Not much was said, everything was understood. I knew full well this was his job and deploying for combat was something he had trained for extensively and was inspired to do.

The year went by fast, and while I was preparing for JV football, I decided to sit down and write my dad an email for Father’s Day.

He wrote back and a few days later, and to my surprise, I was actually able to talk to him on the phone. He was now in Afghanistan and I could hear the tension in his voice. Despite the constant conflict and rising dangers, my dad found it in him to
encourage me. “Never give up and always try your best… your body will do whatever you tell it to.” My dad was reported MIA less than a week later.

After receiving “the knock” your world shifts. Nothing can ever or will ever be the same – it’s like living a double life. What will it be like without your dad? What would it have been like with him?

However, following the knock came what I can only describe as the support of the world.

Patriots from all over the world have stepped up to show us we matter and that they care – and we are not alone.

You remind us the world is good and that even without a parent, we still have every opportunity to be whoever we want to be and so much more.

My dad would be proud of how others have looked after his own. I can guarantee you he would make the same sacrifice again for his men, for his family, and for a country and cause worth fighting for.

Today, I own and operate my own video production company, Poor Bear Stories, and his legacy is entrenched in our values: “Never give up and always try your best.”

I truly believe my family and I have been afforded a more peaceful and joyous life because of my dad’s sacrifice, and I am constantly reminded by people like you that we are not forgotten and we continue to have more and more to be proud of.

Thank you and may God bless you.

Jacob Centeno

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