Air Force Master Sgt. Derek Holm was serving as a recruiter two years ago at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado when he met Air Force Staff Sgt. Jesse Childress. Childress had recently left the Army, and was looking to become a reservist in the Air Force.
"I remember he had a really long crazy goatee," Holm told me when I had a chance to speak to him this weekend. "I joked with him that he had to shave it off if he wanted to join."
Holm says Childress had been a satellite operator for the Army, and Holm was so impressed with Childress's intelligence that he worked to get him into the very competitive space squadron at Buckley, where Childress got a job working with computers.
Childress was one of 12 people killed in Aurora when suspect James Holmes began shooting at moviegoers during a midnight showing of the latest Batman movie. Pentagon spokesman Air Force Lt. Col. Jack Miller said Childress died at the scene.
Holm now lives in San Diego, and serves in the Air Force as a reservist. He said his former fellow recruiter at Buckley called him with the news about Childress.
San Diego television station KFMB put together a video report on the service members who died during the Aurora massacre. I've posted the video up top.