James Phillip Saler, of Pueblo West, Colo., a Tri-State CareFlight pilot, died in a helicopter crash near Mancos, Colo., on June 30, 2005. He was 40.
Jim was born March 11, 1965, in Orange, Calif., and graduated in 1983 from South Tahoe High School. He retired June 30, 2005, as a chief warrant officer 3, having served 20 years in the U.S. Army. He began his military career as an Infantryman, where he served in “Operation Just Cause” in Panama and “Operation Able Sentry” in Macedonia. In 1995, he was selected for Warrant Officer Candidate School. After graduation, he attended the Army Aviation Flight School at Fort Rucker, Ala. Jim served two tours of duty in the Middle East, his most recent tour as a Medivac pilot with the 571st Med Company Air Ambulance from Fort Carson, Colo. He served in “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” returning to Fort Carson in November 2003. An avid skier, he also loved spending time with his family, camping and fishing. He had a special talent for building furniture and cabinets, and for other woodcrafts.
Jim touched the lives of many people. He was an inspiration and a role model to those who knew him. He was an individual who always put other’s needs before his own. Becoming a pilot was his lifelong dream, and now his spirit will forever soar. He will always be in the hearts of his family who will always love him.
He is survived by his wife, Janet Byers Saler; daughters, Natalie, Danielle and Christine; parents, Marilyn and Lee Horn; father, James Saler; mother and father-in-law, Curt and Tonie Byers; sisters, Sharon Mancuoso and Lisa (Lawrence) Tachibana; and numerous other family members and friends.
A memorial service will begin at 1 p.m. July 8 at the Montgomery & Steward Chapel, in Pueblo, Colo., with military honors by the Fort Carson Honor Guard. Online condolences may be sent to http://www.montgomerysteward.com.
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