Mourning A Hero
It is with deep sadness that Gonzaga learned of the tragic death of alumnus and distinguished ROTC graduate Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shane M. Barnes (’11). Shane and four other service members died in a helicopter crash over the Mediterranean Sea on Friday, Nov. 10, while conducting a routine air refueling mission.
Shane attended Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California, received a full ROTC scholarship and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Gonzaga in 2011. He served as the Bulldog Battalion’s Battalion Commander, was a member of the Gonzaga Black Championship ROTC Ranger Challenge Team and was honored with the Command Sergeant Major Thomas Williams Leadership Excellence Award. He graduated in the top 10% of the national ROTC class in 2011, earning him the designation of Distinguished Military Graduate.
A Blackhawk pilot, Shane served in Korea followed by deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, where he supported Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Inherent Resolve. He received more than a dozen military awards, including the Distinguished Flying Cross with “V” Device for Valor, Air Medal, Combat Action Badge, Army Commendation Medal, and National Defense Service Medal.
In a 2015 Jesuit High School interview, Shane expressed the importance of being a “Man for Others.” He said, “I learned to devote myself to something greater than myself at Jesuit. I have always felt called to service, and the Army has given purpose and meaning to that call. The legacy I choose to leave is that I defended those I love.”
The entire Gonzaga community extends our deepest condolences to Shane’s family, friends, and fellow service members during this incredibly difficult time. We mourn the loss of a courageous individual who exemplified the Jesuit values of service, compassion, and leadership.
Information regarding funeral services will be forthcoming.