KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Not even a year ago, Charleston pilot and Iraq War Veteran Mike Lakin was killed in a plane crash in Marysville, Ohio.
On Monday, a golf tournament was held in his honor to help raise money for a foundation that bears his name and his dreams.
"We get to go fly airplanes and get paid to do it -- and he was always happy to say that and always happy with what he did and especially happy with teaching other people how to be a pilot and furthering their careers as pilots," said Tracy Jordan, Lakin’s friend and fellow pilot.
So, the best way friends and family could make his memory live on is through a foundation that awards scholarships to aspiring pilots.
"He was such a great friend," Jordan said. "He would do anything in the world for you. Even on days like today, he would have been right there beside you helping you out if you needed it. So, there were no ifs, ands or buts about it. I was going to be a part of something that involved being a part of Mikey and making sure that this foundation does good and lives on."
The foundation and scholarship program are just getting started. Eventually, organizers would like to offer full scholarships. For now, though, they want to help out however they can by buying textbooks and helping with equipment and a percentage of tuition.
"It's just a little boost because with the way it is nowadays," Jordan said. "It's not real cheap to become a pilot anymore, especially in the civilian world. And what we hope to do is since Mikey's not here anymore, maybe what we can offer to the people in financial help can make his life and what he was about live on through that."