The wreckage of a C-141 aircraft at Pope Air Force Base after being hit by an out-of-control F-16 on March 23, 1994. The resulting fire killed 24 U.S. Army paratroopers waiting nearby. The aerial view, taken one day after the accident, shows the extent of the damage to the C-141 Starlifter after the F-16D Falcon crashed and hit the unoccupied C-141 parked on the tarmac. (Airman Magazine/Wikimedia Commons)
Retired Lt. Col. Jay Nelson is often asked when he recovered from a 1994 accident that killed 24 fellow paratroopers as they were preparing for a jump.
"I tell folks I'll let them know when I get there," he said.
Nelson, who was burned over about half his body in the accident, spoke at a ceremony Friday that honored the soldiers who died. The event marked the 25th anniversary of the accident, which happened on March 23, 1994, at Green Ramp on what is now Pope Army Airfield.