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Bartt Owens Memorial

Posted on: April 22, 2020 2:00 pm

In a normal school year, in a normal high school athletic season, Franklin High School would have been hosting the 19th annual Bartt Owens Track and Field Invitational on Friday, April 24th.  Of course the past few weeks have been anything but normal.  While the meet and all other spring sports have been cancelled, we can still honor Captain Bartt Owens (FHS Class of 1990) by posting the tribute that is read each year prior to the meet to remember his life and service to our country.  Let us take a moment during our day to remember Bartt and all our military men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice and this year include in our thoughts all our doctors, nurses, first responders and all caregivers  who are doing so much during this challenging time.


In 2002, The Franklin Track Invitational was renamed in honor and in memory of Captain Bartt Owens.  Bartt was a 1990 graduate of Franklin High School.   He was Senior Class President, a member of the National Honor Society and graduated in the top two percent of his class.  Bartt also lettered four times in Cross Country, three times in Track and was Co-Captain of both teams his senior year.  He was a leader on and off the field.

After high school, Bartt attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and graduated in 1994.  Bartt chose to pursue his career in the area of army aviation.  As always, he excelled and became an accomplished helicopter pilot assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.  He was now flying with the elite of Army aviation, the famed "Nightstalkers".

On February 21, 2002, Bartt Owens died along with nine other American servicemen when their Chinook helicopter crashed into the sea off the coast of the Philippines.  His helicopter was carrying American Special Forces and supplies to Basilan Island in an effort to rescue American missionaries and a Filipino nurse who were being held hostage by anti government guerrillas.

Captain Bartt Owens was 30 years old.  He left behind his wife Leah and daughters Meagen and Lauren.  We believe that re-naming this meet in his honor will serve as a living memorial to his life and service to his country.