Tim Jensen Memorial Award
TIM JENSEN MEMORIAL AWARD
In 1977, a young man stood on the stage in the old gym and received his high school diploma. In addition to the diploma, Tim Jensen was awarded numerous scholarships, including the one that he prized most highly, an appointment to the United States Military Academy.
Throughout his high school years, Tim Jensen was a student with a purpose, a goal. He knew what he wanted from life and he knew the sacrifices one must make to achieve a goal.
Tim wanted more than anything to be a pilot. Many times, he talked of his desire for an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy. Tim knew he had a bad back. The “Jensen Back” he called it. For fear of further injury to the back, thus lessening his chances for acceptance to the Air force Academy, Tim gave up football, a sport he loved, but in his true spirit became a Student Manager for the team.
All students are special in different ways. Those of us that had the opportunity to work with or know Tim, knew he was special. Academically talented, active in football, basketball, track, speech and music, Tim gave his very best in every endeavor he tried. He was a leader in the school. President of his Senior Class and delivered the graduation speech for the class of 1977.
When Tim found out that his back would not allow him to pass the physical for the Air Force Academy, in his true nature, he had already made alternative plans. His application for an appointment to the United States Military Academy had already been submitted.
Tim accepted the appointment to the Military Academy, and was a 1981 graduate of the school. In talking to Tim, it was easy to see the pride he had in that institution. I remember an afternoon that Tim spent at our house several years ago. Our son had received an appointment to West Point and was wrestling with the decision that had to be made. His words were simple but full of thought—The Academy is not everyone, you must decide if its best for you, but for me it is the greatest thing that could have ever happened.
Capt. Tim a. Jensen died Feb. 15, 1985, in a helicopter accident at Fort Rucker, Ala. At the time of the accident, Capt. Jensen was serving as the Commander of the Air Traffic Control Company U. S. Army Information Systems Command Signal Battalion.
After graduating from West Point, Tim was able to do that which he had always wanted. He was trained as a Rotary Wing Aviator and an Instructor Pilot.
In the 1981 West Point Yearbook, Jensen’s classmates wrote to him. . . “To compliment his talents, Tim’s initiative has taken him to the top of all his endeavors. Whether it be excelling in academics or organizing the Addic Council, T. J. leads the way.”
In addition to the Addic Council, Jensen was also active in the Cadet Glee Club, the Cadet Chapel Choir, the Aero-Astro Club and the Dialectic Society during his days as a cadet.
Tim’s awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, and the Army Aviator Badge.
The Tim Jensen Memorial Award is being initiated and will be perpetuated by his brothers Larry and Ken.