So Others May Live
We are an all-volunteer military and military spouse organization dedicated to providing pre-mishap education and immediate post-mishap support for the Navy and Marine Corps Aviation community and their families.
In addition to providing immediate support, we also provide resources for child care, relieving immediate financial burdens and initial help and planning.
AWS1 James “Jimmy” Philip Buriak, USN, died 31 August 2021 in a Naval helicopter crash off the coast of San Diego. Where he served as a naval aircrewman rescue swimmer (AWS) with HSC-8. The legacy of a hero is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example. This foundation was created in the wake of Jimmy’s death as a way to honor him and his memory but also keep his purpose alive – to help others. Jimmy served as a rescue swimmer whose motto is, “So others may live.” We’ve embraced this motto for the foundation and it’s the purpose of being there every day, but on your worst possible day, knowing that we are here to walk that journey with you.
Our mission is to ensure the sacrifces of those in the aviation community are honored and those that are left behind are supported, empowered and continue to be part of the community.
Pre-Mishap: Education and Family Preparedness
There are smaller – often unknown elements in the event of a mishap. There are third-party imposed limitations and oftentimes, commands, active-duty members, and their families are caught unaware. The AWS1 James Buriak Foundation feels strongly about providing you with support and education so that you are not surprised or become limited in your access or ability when such a situation arises. We will make sure that you are fully prepared by equipping you with the knowledge you’ll need.
Life Insurance Policy Contracted Under Civilian Plans
It is common for families to obtain life insurance coverage in preparation for “worst-case scenarios”. This is wise and is strongly acknowledged. However, there are elements that military aviation families should be aware of. There are fine prints and caveats placed within civilian life insurance policies and plans. One example is that when someone passes from an aviation mishap, the policy may become null and void since this happened while on duty and is part of their job description.
Banking: Access to Assets and Reporting of Family Member’s Passing
Bank policies, procedures, and protocols are not always clear and/or disclosed to joint account holder/s. Banking is not as set up as one would imagine in case of loss.
Loans: Under Active-Duty Member’s Name and What it Looks Like
A Note From Our Founder
AWS1 Buriak got his first rescue off the coast of Gun Beach Guam while ported on deployment from the USS Theodore Roosevelt. When asked about saving a drowning tourist off duty he stated, “I just happened to be the person there and I would like to think that regardless of who it was, they would have done the same. Someone said they needed help, and anyone would do the same in my shoes.”
Jimmy took his final flight on LOOSEFOOT 616 8/31/21 when he went down off the coast of San Diego. Not only did we lose him, but we also lost 4 other amazing people that day. Since that day, I’ve made it my life mission to honor the life my husband lived and create a legacy for him that will long outlive my days. I have since opened a non- profit for him, The AWS1 James Buriak Foundation, as well as a scholarship at Roanoke College, in Virginia.
The foundation provides pre-mishap education and post mishap support to the Navy and Marine Corps and their families. The foundation also offers information, referrals, and serve as advocacy support for every Gold Star family.
My goal is to have my husband remembered by how he lived and not by how he died. I will spend each of my days continuing to live like him and striving to help others.
Gold Star Wife of AWS1 James Buriak
LOOSEFOOT 616 08.31.2021