BEDFORD, Va. – “They say it takes a community to raise a child," Michael Parker said tearfully.
The Bedford County community and beyond is mourning the loss of one of their own. Parker, Josh Drablos’ former coach and a family friend, was in Charlotte when he got a text from Drablos’ mother. “'She said, 'No, he’s gone and (the) plane went down.' We just... my family cried and cried".
Drablos, 27, graduated from Jefferson Forest High School in 2010. The Navy sailor died Friday.
He and 10 others were going skydiving in Hawaii when the plane crashed.
“Josh thought about this, rock climbing, skydiving, pole vaulting, these things were all fun to Josh,” Parker said.
Parker said Drablos was a stellar athlete.
“He was bound and determined to better than the best he could be academically and athletically,” Parker said.
His friends at Freedom Jiu Jitsu thought the same.
The group made a post offering support to Drablos’ family and saying he was one "with a positive attitude.”
“The community and friends have stepped up to help them (Josh’s family). And I think it’s made things a little easier. So has the United States Navy,” Parker said.
The United States Navy told 10 News:
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and shipmates of Lt. Joshua Drablos ... Joshua was an invaluable member of the Fleet Cyber team, and we are deeply saddened by the loss of this humble warrior.”
“Celebrating the joy that he brought us is imperative for us to do, I think, and to try to be more like him in our endeavors,” Parker said.