BOULDER, Colo. – A 5K race dedicated to the memory of a fallen University of Colorado graduate and captain in the U.S. Air Force will help other young cadets follow in his footsteps.
Capt. William Dubois went to Rifle High School and earned a degree at CU Boulder. He was a member of the Air Force ROTC program at CU and went on to become a fighter pilot in the Air Force.
He was killed in a plane crash in the Middle East in December 2014 when his aircraft malfunctioned.
“Oh, Will, he was fantastic,” his father Ham Dubois said. "He was the most wonderful, kind person.”
Ham and Donna Dubois started a foundation in their son’s name called Pyro’s Wings Foundation. It helps families who have also lost loved ones in uniform.
A large part of the foundation is also a scholarship that pays for young cadets to get their pilot’s license. A pilot’s license can run up to $12,000.
Without one, it is much more difficult for aspiring fighter pilots to earn a pilot slot.
All of the proceeds from the Pyro Memorial 5K at the CU Boulder campus are donated to Pyro’s Wings Foundation.
The scholarship has been awarded three times. Last year’s recipient was Metro State University of Denver student Greg Liquori.
“It helped me get my Air Force pilot slot so I’ll be fortunate enough that I get to go to pilot training after I commission as well. So, hopefully, I’ll do what he did and keep his name in memory for those that come after him,” Liquori said.
Liquori is in the 105th Detachment of the Air Force ROTC, based at CU Boulder. He travels to the campus twice a week for training. His semester job in his unit is planning the 5K.
“I asked if I could help do this to further his legacy and keep the scholarship fund going,” he said.
The Dubois say watching other aspiring pilots makes them proud of the legacy and inspiration their son leaves behind.
“It gives me great comfort in the future of our country meeting and learning about these cadets,” Ham Dubois said.
Registration for the Pyro Memorial 5K will begin at 9 a.m. Sunday. The start of the race is outside the Duane Physics and Astrophysics Building, across from Folsom Field Gate 5.
The race will begin at 10 a.m. and will end with a barbecue. The cost for registration on race day is $25.
Pyro’s Wings also hosts another race on the Western Slope in August.