Wife of the first officer in cargo plane crash this week talks about how her husband inspired others

MONROE, Mich. (WXYZ) - Earlier this week she lost her husband in the cargo plane crash that killed seven people, and now she shares their story and the way her husband inspired others to live.

"I'm sad that he's gone.  I'm so sad.  But I'm so happy that I had him," said Elizabeth Brokaw.

Elizabeth and her husband Jamie Brokaw made plans for the Tigers game next Sunday before he left to celebrate their one year anniversary.

"I'm so happy he was in my life," said Elizabeth.

The 33-year-old native from Three Rivers died Monday when the 747 cargo plane he was on crashed in Afghanistan shortly after take-off.

"No matter who would've been in that airplane, but especially those guys, if they couldn't recover from how that, what happened, nobody could've," she said.

Jamie was first officer on the national airlines aircraft that was transporting military vehicles and other cargo to Dubai.

"They were like the double ‘A' team. They were the best. They were the best in character, the best in their skills," said Elizabeth. She says all seven of the men were at the top of their game in other parts of their lives as well.

"Jamie wants us to celebrate. To not focus on this one little blip in their lives," said Elizabeth. "This is just one thing that happened. We have to celebrate everything else."

Celebrate the things like the fact that Jamie did not just love her, but was a remarkable father to Elizabeth's 9-year-old daughter. 

"I'm a better person because of him," she said.

Jamie went out of town a lot with his job, so they made sure to appreciate one another.

"Never a time to be upset. Never a time to fight. We just had to be happy and we just had to live," said Elizabeth. 

When he was not flying, Jamie worked at his small business selling plane parts near their home in Monroe.

"He brought out the best in everyone. And he will keep doing it. He keeps on doing it, every day," she said. He inspired people all around the world during his time in the military. Jamie served six years in the U.S. Air Force and left as a staff sergeant with a love for the skies.

"Outside of flying, inside of flying, he was flying," said Elizabeth. She knows that is probably what Jamie is doing now.

"Blue skies baby, blue skies," said his wife as she looked up to the sky. 

Jamie and the rest of the crew will be flown into Dover Air Force Base as military heroes.

The family is currently working to set up a college scholarship fund for Jamie's stepdaughter.

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